LLANSILIN is not a place which springs to mind when you think of war.

However for a few short years during the English Civil War the border village found itself on the frontier between the Royalist loyal forces of Montgomeryshire and the growing power of Oliver Cromwell's Parliamentarians.

The army of King Charles I marched from Montgomeryshire in September 1645 bound for Chester.

The border city of Cheshire had been under siege for months by Parliamentarian forces and the monarch had led an army north to liberate it.

On the way the locals had impressed their loyalty on the King and with records of the Montgomeryshire forces fortifying Llansilin Church 'for the straightninge and keeping in of Chirk Castle men' in the king's interests.

As the war waged the castle of Chirk had - much like its earlier history - shown divided loyalties.

Ty Mawr. The site of the battle. Picture: Street View.

Ty Mawr. The site of the battle. Picture: Street View.

The castle, the former home to the treasonous Mortimer family of which two of its barons had tried to overthrow the king in the 1300s, and later the home of Fitzalan Earls of Arundel of Arundel Castle, who lost and regained the castle after an act of treason against King Richard II in 1388.

The castle came into the possession of the Myddelton family in 1595 but its heir, Sir Thomas Myddelton II sided with the Parliamentarians in 1631 upon the outbreak of the d English Civil War.

The castle was taken over by Royalist forces is 1643 under order of the King, who later spent two nights at Chirk in 1645.

However, Sir Thomas regained the castle in 1646 by bribing the occupying Sir John Watts to leave following a failed military attempt.

Sir Thomas would become the leader of the Parliamentarian army in mid and north Wales as the war continued.

In 1645, some of his soldiers attacked the farmhouse of Ty Mawr which was defending by Royalist loyalists who barred the doors closed and defended their position under a barrage.

Legend says the defenders had thrown out some hives of bees which had forced the Royalist army to flee.

The village continued to see civil war action.

Llansilin Church. Picture: Geograph.

Llansilin Church. Picture: Geograph.

Oliver Cromwell's Roundheads used the church as a barracks and the south door for target practice with muskets and it was also shot at by Royalist forces besieging the church with the door, complete with bullet holes, still in use to this day.

Eventually Cromwell would prevail and King Charles I was executed.

Sir Thomas turned on Cromwell soon after and played a key role in the Cheshire Rising of 1659 with the castle left in ruins as Cromwell punished his former general.

A year later when the monarchy was restored and Charles II was crowned, Chirk was formally given back to the Myddelton family.