The castle was built in 1295 by Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March as part of King Edward I's chain of fortresses across the north of Wales. It guards the entrance to the Ceiriog Valley. It was the administrative centre for the Marcher Lordship of Chirkland
The castle was bought by Thomas Myddelton in 1595 for £5,000. His son, Thomas Myddelton of Chirk Castle was a Parliamentarian during the English Civil War, but became a Royalist during the Cheshire Rising of 1659. Following the Restoration, his son became Sir Thomas Myddelton, 1st Baronet of Chirk Castle.
During the 1930s the Castle was home to Thomas Scott-Ellis, 8th Baron Howard de Walden, a prominent patron of the arts and champion of Welsh culture. The Myddelton family resided at Chirk Castle until 2004. Lieutenant-Colonel Ririd Myddleton was an extra equerry to Queen Elizabeth II from 1952 until his death in 1988.
The castle is presently in the ownership of the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty and is open to the public between February and October. The state rooms, towers and dungeons are staffed by well informed guides. The property is also notable for its gardens, with clipped yew hedges, herbaceous borders, rock gardens and terraces and surrounded by 18th century parkland.