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Denbigh Library - - 666848.jpg
Denbigh Library
Denbigh is located in Denbighshire
Denbigh shown 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
EU ParliamentWales
UK Parliament
Welsh Assembly
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) is a market town and community in Denbighshire, Wales, of which it was formerly the county town. The town's Welsh name translates as "Little Fortress", a reference to its historic castle. Denbigh lies near the Clwydian Hills.


A view of 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 1294-95; 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]

In 1643, during the English Civil War, Denbigh became a refuge for a Royalist garrison during the English Civil War. Surrendering in 1646, the castle and town walls eventually fell into ruin.[2]

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.[3]

Situated in Denbigh is an unfinished church begun in 1579 by Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, who was also Baron of Denbigh. It was planned as a cathedral with the title of city to be transferred from neighbouring St Asaph. The project ran out of money and the grounds now lie derelict.


Denbigh was once 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.[4] As of October 2018, the derelict building has passed into the ownership of Denbighshire County Council.[5]

Futura Cinema[edit]

Denbigh was once served by 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 re-named 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.[6] Denbigh has no permanent cinema, though Denbigh Film Club regularly operates in Theatr Twm o'r Nant.[7]



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


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 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 two secondary schools located in Denbigh. The largest is Denbigh High School, located in lower Denbigh on Ruthin Road. The second is the previously all-girls catholic school, St Bridget’s, which can be found on Mold Road on the outskirts of the town.

This is the main secondary school in Denbigh, consisting of under 600 pupils and approximately 60 staff. The current headmaster is Dr. Paul Evans

The school made UK headlines in 2016, when it placed over 70 pupils in isolation on the first day of term for wearing the wrong uniform.[10]

  • St Bridget’s

This Catholic voluntary aided school 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

  • Combined Sixth Form

Under the Learning Skills Measure policy by the Welsh Government, all schools must provide a rich and diverse curriculum for 6th form pupils. Because of this policy both of the High Schools in Denbigh, along with Ysgol Brynhyfryd (Ruthin), Ysgol Glan Clwyd (St Asaph), Denbigh College, and Llysfasi College (Deeside) have all joined together to offer a combined 6th form under the title ‘The Dyffryn Clwyd Consortium’.[11]

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 Eisteddfod[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. ^ "Welcome to Denbigh". Retrieved 30 November 2007.
  3. ^ "The History of Denbigh". Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Village of the Damned". Most Haunted. 25 October 2008.
  5. ^ "Council takes over Denbigh's North Wales Hospital". BBC News. 2018-10-12. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  6. ^ "Cinema Treasures: Wedgwood Cinema in Denbigh". Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  7. ^ "Denbigh Film Club". Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  8. ^ "2001 Census: Denbigh (Parish)". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 30 November 2007.
  9. ^ "Town population 2011". Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  10. ^ "School puts up to 70 pupils in isolation".
  11. ^ Team, UCAS Media Technical. "UCAS Progress: Dyffryn Clwyd Partnership".
  12. ^ "Humphrey Lloyd profile". BBC Wales. Retrieved 7 December 2006.
  13. ^ "Kate Roberts profile". BBC Wales. Retrieved 7 December 2006.
  14. ^ "Henry Morton Stanley profile". BBC Wales. Retrieved 7 December 2006.

External links[edit]