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Denbigh Library - - 666848.jpg
Denbigh Library
Denbigh is located in Denbighshire
Location within Denbighshire
Population8,986 (2011)
OS grid referenceSJ053663
  • Denbigh
Principal area
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townDENBIGH
Postcode districtLL16
Dialling code01745
PoliceNorth Wales
FireNorth Wales
UK Parliament
Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament
List of places
53°11′07″N 3°25′04″W / 53.1854°N 3.4178°W / 53.1854; -3.4178Coordinates: 53°11′07″N 3°25′04″W / 53.1854°N 3.4178°W / 53.1854; -3.4178

Denbigh (/ˈdɛnbi/; Welsh: Dinbych; Welsh pronunciation: [ˈdɨ̞nbɨ̞χ]) is a market town and a community in Denbighshire, Wales. Formerly, the county town, the Welsh name translates to "Little Fortress"; a reference to its historic castle. Denbigh lies near the Clwydian Hills.


Denbigh, c.1895

Denbigh Castle, together with its town walls, was built in 1282 by order of King Edward I. The Burgess Gate, whose twin towers adorn the symbol on Denbigh's civic seal, was once the main entrance into the town. The first borough charter was granted to Denbigh in 1290, when the town was still contained within the old town walls. It was the centre of the Marcher Lordship of Denbigh. The town was involved in the revolt of Madog ap Llywelyn in 1294–1295; the castle was captured in the autumn, and on 11 November 1294 a relieving force was defeated by the Welsh rebels. The town was recaptured by Edward I in December. Denbigh was also burnt in 1400 during the revolt of Owain Glyndŵr.

During the Wars of the Roses (1455-1487), the town was largely destroyed, subsequently moving from the hilltop to the area of the present town market.[1]

Leicester's Church is an unfinished church. In 1579, Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, who was also Baron of Denbigh, planned for there to be a cathedral. His intention was to move the status of city from neighbouring St Asaph. The project ran out of money, and when Robert Dudley died, it was left as ruins; now in the care of Cadw.[2]

In 1643, during the English Civil War, Denbigh became a refuge for a Royalist garrison. Surrendering in 1646, the castle and town walls eventually fell into ruin.[3]

The town grew around the textile industry in the 1600s, hosting specialist glovers, weavers, smiths, shoemakers, saddlers, furriers and tanners. Denbigh has been an important location for the agricultural industry throughout.[4]

Map of Denbigh, with locations of key sites.


Denbigh was served by a railway station on the former London and North Western Railway, later part of the LMS. The "Vale of Clwyd" line leading north to St. Asaph and Rhyl closed in 1955, leaving Denbigh on a lengthy branch running from Chester via Mold and Denbigh to Ruthin, which closed in 1962. A southern continuation beyond Ruthin linking up with the Great Western Railway at Corwen had closed in 1952. The platform of Denbigh station can still be seen beside the road leading to the Home Bargains store.

North Wales Hospital[edit]

At one time the majority of the population sought employment at the North Wales Hospital, which, dating back to the 1840s, cared for people with psychiatric illnesses. The hospital closed in 1995 and has since fallen into disrepair. In October 2008, a special series of episodes of Most Haunted, titled 'Village of the Damned', was broadcast from the North Wales Hospital over 7 days.[5] As of October 2018, the derelict building has passed into the ownership of Denbighshire County Council.[6]

Old hospital in Denbigh

Futura Cinema[edit]

Denbigh had a town cinema on Love Lane. It opened as the Scala in 1928 before being re-branded as the Wedgwood Cinema in the late 1970s. It closed in October 1980 and was re-opened by Lewis Colwell in 1982 and renamed the Futura Cinema. The cinema closed in the 1990s, but the building remained open as a video rental store. In 1995, Peter Moore re-opened the cinema for a short period before being arrested and convicted of the murder of four men. The video rental store closed and the building is now in ruin awaiting redevelopment.[7] Denbigh has no permanent cinema, though Denbigh Film Club regularly operates in Theatr Twm o'r Nant.[8]


The population at the 2001 Census was 8,783,[9] increasing to 8,986 in the 2011 census.[10]


Attractions in the town include Denbigh Library, Denbigh Castle and the castle walls, Cae Dai 1950s museum, Theatr Twm o'r Nant, medieval parish church St Marcella's, and a small shopping complex. Denbigh Boxing Club is located on Middle Lane. Denbigh Community Hospital was established in 1807.[11] Denbigh Town Hall is a Grade II* listed building.[12]

Denbigh Cricket Club is one of the oldest cricket clubs in Wales having been established in 1844. The club plays at the Ystrad Road ground and plays in the North Wales Cricket League. The 1st XI play in the Premier Division having won the Division 1 championship in 2010 with the 2nd XI in Division 3.

For over 50 years, a barrel rolling competition has been held on Boxing Day in the town square.

Secondary Schools[edit]

There are three secondary schools located in Denbigh. Denbigh High School is the larger of the two, consisting of nearly 600 pupils and approximately 60 staff. The current headmaster is Dr. Paul Evans

St Bridget's is a Catholic voluntary aided school on Mold Road on the outskirts of the town which caters for pupils between the ages of 3 – 19. There is a strict admissions policy and until recently the school only accepted girls. The schools current headteacher is Mrs Rona Jones.

Myddleton College is the former Howell's Preparatory School and is an independent co-educational day and boarding school.

All 3 of these High Schools in Denbigh, along with Ysgol Brynhyfryd (Ruthin), Ysgol Glan Clwyd (St Asaph), Denbigh College, and Llysfasi College (Deeside) have joined to offer a combined 6th form under the title ‘The Dyffryn Clwyd Consortium’.[13]

Site of Special Scientific Interest[edit]

Crest Mawr Wood (alt. - Crêst) is a Site of Special Scientific Interest to the north west, adjoining Denbigh Golf Club and the Tarmac Quarry, an historic and ancient deciduous woodland. This woodland is endangered due to environmental pressure and competing land use in the area.

National Eisteddfodau[edit]

Denbigh hosted the National Eisteddfod of Wales in 1882, 1939, 2001 and 2013.

Notable people[edit]



  1. ^ "Denbigh, Clwyd, Wales". Archived from the original on 30 January 2008. Retrieved 30 November 2007.
  2. ^ St David's or Leicester's Church, Denbigh (ID NPRN93307). at the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW)
  3. ^ "Welcome to Denbigh". Retrieved 30 November 2007.
  4. ^ "The History of Denbigh". Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  5. ^ "Village of the Damned". Most Haunted. 25 October 2008.
  6. ^ "Council takes over Denbigh's North Wales Hospital". BBC News. 12 October 2018. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  7. ^ "Cinema Treasures: Wedgwood Cinema in Denbigh". Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  8. ^ "Denbigh Film Club". Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  9. ^ "2001 Census: Denbigh (Parish)". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 30 November 2007.
  10. ^ "Town population 2011". Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  11. ^ "Denbighshire Community Hospital, Denbigh". National Archives. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  12. ^ Cadw. "Town Hall (23591)". National Historic Assets of Wales. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  13. ^ Team, UCAS Media Technical. "UCAS Progress: Dyffryn Clwyd Partnership".
  14. ^ "Humphrey Lloyd profile". BBC Wales. Retrieved 7 December 2006.
  15. ^ "Kate Roberts profile". BBC Wales. Retrieved 7 December 2006.
  16. ^ "Henry Morton Stanley profile". BBC. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  17. ^ "HM Stanley statue unveiled in his home town of Denbigh". BBC News. Retrieved 2 February 2019.

External links[edit]