William Wordsworth Composed Among the Ruins of a Castle in North Wales

Earlier this week we stayed at Ruthin Castle so that we could explore the area, and meet up with friends. The castle is wonderful, with ruins nestling up to the main building, and peacocks strolling in the grounds.

A small part of the ruins of Ruthin's 13th century castle

We explored the local area, including Basingwerk Abbey and some ancient churches. I was reminded of William Wordsworth's visits to North Wales, as we meandered around the lanes close to Denbigh. 

Wordsworth visited the area three times, staying with his friend Jones at Plas-yn-Llan, each time. Wordsworth clearly loved North Wales and wrote Composed Among the Ruins of a Castle in North Wales whilst there. I would love to think that the castle was Ruthin Castle. Probably not, but there is evidence that he visited Ruthin on at least one of this visits, as he composed a sonnet to the Ladies of Llangollen, which he sent them "from Ruthin".

Through shattered galleries, 'mid roofless halls,
Wandering with timid footsteps oft betrayed,
The Stranger sighs, nor scruples to upbraid
Old Time, though he, gentlest among the Thralls
Of Destiny, upon these wounds hath laid
His lenient touches, soft as light that falls,
From the wan Moon, upon the towers and walls,
Light deepening the profoundest sleep of shade.
Relic of Kings! Wreck of forgotten wars,
To winds abandoned and the prying stars,
Time 'loves' Thee! at his call the Seasons twine
Luxuriant wreaths around thy forehead hoar;
And, though past pomp no changes can restore,
A soothing recompense, his gift, is thine!

The small market town of Ruthin is also very pretty with many listed and ancient buildings. I doubt whether it has changed very much since Wordsworth's visits.

Old buildings in Ruthin's historic centre