Photo courtesy Denbigh.com;
used with permission.
|The old Welsh
market town of Denbigh (Welsh Dinbych) was
established in 1283 when Henry de Lacy, 3rd Earl of Lincoln, built a castle to help consolidate the English
conquest of Wales. The castle, which stood as a symbol of English sovereignty over
the region, was built on the ruins of earlier, Welsh fortifications. The castle is
built on a steep hill and holds a commanding view of the surrounding Vale (Valley) of
first Borough Charter was granted to Denbigh in 1290 when the town was still contained
within the old town walls. During the Wars of the Roses the town was burned and it was
subsequently moved from the hilltop to around the present town market.
During the reign of Elizabeth I, Robert Dudley, as Earl of
Leicester, served as lord of Denbigh until his death in 1588. During the English
Civil War, the castle above the town served as a royalist stronghold, and fell to
Cromwell's troops only after a siege of four months. From the 17th century on,
Denbigh gradually grew in importance as the principal market town of the Vale of Clwyd,
and developed as a center for many tradesmen, including glovers, weavers, smiths,
shoemakers, saddlers, curriers and tanners.
Denbigh lies about 13 miles (20km) from the Irish Sea port
of Rhyl, which was one terminus of the paddle steamer Denbigh's
normal operating route between 1860 and 1863. The present population of Denbigh is
about 10,000 people. The town remains an area market center, with its economy
boosted also by tourism and light industry. Notable among Denbigh's more famous
natives is Henry Morton Stanley, the famous 19th century explorer. Denbigh is also
home to an internationally-known folk
music festival held annually in mid-August.