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Events

Denbigh townsfolk are an active bunch, so there’s always plenty going on that you’re welcome to join in.
Here is just a sample of what we get up to:

Open Doors - Heritage Lecture (27 September 2019)

A talk by Shaun Evans of Bangor University and the Institute for the Study of Welsh Estates entitled “The Welsh Renaissance Powerhouse: The Vale of
Clwyd c.1500-1650”
 
Please book to avoid disappointment by calling into Denbigh Library, phoning 01745 816313 or emailing denbigh.library@denbighshire.gov.uk.
 
Theatr Twm o'r Nant, Station Road, Denbigh, LL16 3DA
Doors open: 6:30pm; Start: 7:00pm; Bar available
Admission: FREE

Denbigh Open Doors 2019 (27 – 29 September 2019)

A wonderful range of interesting, unusual and beautiful historic homes and buildings will be open to the public for tours and talk this September.
 
This fascinating weekend is part of a European wide programme and brought to you by Denbigh Open Doors Group with the support of Cadw, Denbigh Town Council and Grŵp Cynefin.
 
In addition to these buildings/sites a number of events, exhibitions and tours will be available. Details of all these will be published on this website and in a separate booklet in August.
 
Remember to keep checking this website!

Open Doors - Denbigh Town Hall (28 – 29 September 2019)

Town Hall | Grade II* Listed Building | Crown Lane, LL16 3TB

The Town Hall was built in 1915-16 to replace Thomas Fulljames’ Market Hall of 1848, combining town hall and market.  The foundation stone was laid by Thomas Lloyd Jones, Mayor of Denbigh, on 25 March 1915. It is listed as a fine early 20th century public building with the added interest of the relatively early use of reinforced concrete.   The Town Council meets in the Council Chamber. There is also a concert and dance hall with a stage and a magnificent sprung floor and a horseshoe shaped gallery. 

 

Saturday and Sunday (Council Chamber only) 10am–4pm | Accessible

Open Doors - Burgess Gate (28 – 29 September 2019)

Burgess Gate Grade I Listed Building, Scheduled Ancient Monument | Castle Hill, LL16 3NH

This fortified gatehouse was the entry to the walled town from 1282 onwards and had portcullis, murder holes and arrow slits. It was one of a pair of gateways; the other being the now lost Exchequer Gate. Both were built between 1282 and 1294 by Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, under licence from Edward I and were probably designed by the leading military architect of the day, Master James of St George. The twin towers of Burgess Gate form the symbol on Denbigh’s civic seal. The building has also been used as a council chamber and a prison.

Saturday and Sunday 11am-4pm | Accessible with step up into tower.

Open Doors - Denbigh Castle (28 – 29 September 2019)

Denbigh Castle Grade I Listed Building, Scheduled Ancient Monument | Castle Hill, LL16 3NH

Visitor centre with low-impact environmental design features.

Denbigh Castle is one of the fortresses that formed King Edward I’s “ring of castles”, four of which (Caernarfon, Conwy, Harlech and Beaumaris) have been named World Heritage sites.

Construction of the Castle began in 1282 by Henry de Lacy, one of Edward I’s chief commanders. It was not the first stronghold to occupy this strategic site: it was built over the stronghold of Dafydd ap Gruffudd, the Welsh leader crushed by Edward in 1282. During the Civil War (1642-1649), the then decaying castle was repaired by Colonel William Salesbury. In 1646 the castle endured a nine month siege. When Denbigh finally surrendered on 26 October 1646, it was only after the King had personally ordered Salesbury to do so.

Tours at 11am, 1pm and 3pm

 

Saturday and Sunday 11am-4pm | Accessible – some steps and rough terrain; Visitor centre and toilets fully accessible

Open Doors - Leicester's Church (28 – 29 September 2019)

Leicester’s Church Grade I Listed Building, Scheduled Ancient Monument | Bull Lane, LL16 3SN

Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester and favourite of Elizabeth I, began building Leicester’s Church in 1578. It was dedicated to St David and was part of Leicester’s grand plan, apparently with the intention of transferring the See from St Asaph to Denbigh. In 1584, work was suspended and the structure remained incomplete on his death in 1588. The church was originally conceived as a ten bay arcaded rectangular church. The imposing ruins are the remains of the first and probably the most ambitious Protestant church to be started after the Reformation.

On sunday a monologue on the life of Bishop William Morgan will be performed within the church. See Tours, Events and Exhibitions section for details.

Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm | Access - uneven steps into the Church.

Open Doors - Denbigh Town Walls (28 – 29 September 2019)

Denbigh Town Walls Grade I Listed Building, Scheduled Ancient Monument | Bull Lane, LL16 3SN

The town walls encompass the old town and castle of Denbigh and extend for almost two thirds of a mile. Work began in 1282 and included the 20m high Goblin Tower, built to enclose and protect the only reliable water source for the castle. The walls held back the besieging force of Oliver Cromwell’s Roundheads for nine months during the Civil War, when the garrison was defended by Colonel William Salesbury, ‘Old blue stockings’. The wall walk from the Countess Tower to the Goblin Tower affords superb views across the Vale of Clwyd to Moel Famau and the Clwydian Range.

Saturday and Sunday 11am-4pm | Accessible with many steps and uneven surfaces - suitable footwear recommended.

Open Doors - Bryn-y-Parc (28 – 29 September 2019)

Bryn Y Parc, Grade II* Listed Building | Park Street, LL16 3DB

Bryn Y Parc is an important early town house dating from the mid16th century. The building is a complex arrangement of different builds, some timber framed and some stone built set around a central courtyard. The timbers date from 1540 in the earliest section and up to 1580 in the later additions. The building suffered a severe fire in 2002 but has now been sensitively restored by the owner into residential accommodation.

Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm | Restricted access to exterior of building and courtyard. Owner Tom Smith will be available to answer questions.

Open Doors - Dr Evan Pierce Memorial Garden (28 – 29 September 2019)

Dr Evan Pierce Memorial Garden Grade II* Listed Building, Grade II Registered Historic Garden | Vale Street, LL16 3BW

Dr Evan Pierce himself built the 50ft column topped by his statue to mark his philanthropy as Coroner, JP, Alderman and five times Mayor of Denbigh. It also commemorates his work as a medical doctor during the cholera epidemic of 1838. Dr Pierce lived in Salisbury Place opposite and would have been able to look at his image from his window.

This is a small Victorian public garden with a formal layout containing two fountains at the entrance that commemorate Victoria’s Jubilee.

Saturday and Sunday 9am-5pm | Accessible

Open Doors - Denbigh Friary (28 – 29 September 2019)

Denbigh Friary Denbigh Grade II* Listed Building | Rhyl Road, LL16 3DT

Denbigh Friary is a ruined monastic religious house located in Denbighshire, Wales. It is situated in the valley of the River Clwyd and was founded in 1343-50. The friary was dedicated to St Mary, and was a Carmelite community. The English Benedictine abbot, Robert Parfew was involved in the 18 August 1538 surrender of the Carmelites of Denbigh Friary. During the Dissolution, some of the buildings were turned into houses, while wool was sold in the churchyard. The ruins are mostly from the 13th and 15th centuries, and include parts of a choir, a gable end, and nave walls.

Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm | Access along gravel driveway from Rhyl Road

Open Doors - The Carriageworks (28 – 29 September 2019)

The Carriageworks, Unit 1-2, 6 Love Lane, LL16 3LU

This three storey industrial building was the premises of Williams Brothers, coach builders. They made all types of horse drawn carts, carriages, broughams and traps. Each floor specialised in the fabricating the various components. The top floor housed the upholstery workshop, the first floor, wooden chassis and accessories whilst heavy ironwork was made in the ground floor forge. Each floor was connected by hinged trap doors large enough to pass the assemblies down using chain hoists.

At the turn of the19th century, when motorcars arrived, Williams Brothers turned to fitting coachwork to chassis manufactured by engineers. The strong industrial character of the building and many of the features and artefacts are retained in the recent restoration.

After a variety of uses, it is now an arts and crafts centre with all three floors occupied and run for the benefit of the local community.

Saturday and Sunday 11am -3pm | Accessible with stairs to upper floors.

Open Doors - Denbigh Museum (28 – 29 September 2019)

Denbigh Museum, Grove Road, LL16 3UU

The building started life as Fron Goch County Primary School in 1877, and was built in local dressed limestone. The building was converted into a Magistrates’ Court and offices in 1987, but was closed in 2013. The building still retains one of the magistrates’ courts and cells. The building has now been acquired to create a new Denbigh museum for the town. 

Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm | Accessible from Grove Road

Open Doors - St Marcella’s Church (28 – 29 September 2019)

St Marcella’s Church Grade I Listed Building | Whitchurch Road, LL16 4ER

Built on the site of the 7th century cell of St Marcella, the church is a classic example of the ‘Vale of Clwyd’ twin-naved style and is largely the result of a late perpendicular remodelling of around 1500. Exceptionally fine and well preserved, it is one of the most important churches in North Wales and contains some notable monuments. Buried inside are the map-maker Humphrey Llwyd, members of the powerful Salusbury family and the heart of Richard Clough, the Denbigh-born merchant. Outside is the grave of Twm o’r Nant, poet of Denbigh.

Saturday & Sunday 10am – 4pm | Sunday service 9.30am | Accessible

Open Doors - St Joseph's Catholic Church (28 September 2019)

St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Bryn Stanley, LL16 3NT

St Joseph's Catholic Church which opened in 1968. The Parish Priest at the time was Fr J Wedlake.
'The Baptism of Christ' stained glass window in the baptistery is by artist Jonah Jones and was installed around 1970. The stained glass windows around the main church were by Peter Morton in 1968. The windows were sponsored by local Catholic families.

Saturday only; 12 noon-4pm | Accessible

Open Doors - Beatrix Potter Garden, Gwaenynog Hall (28 – 29 September 2019)

Beatrix Potter Garden, Gwaenynog Hall, Pentrefoelas Road, LL16 5NU

Beatrix Potter, the creator of Peter Rabbit regularly visited Gwaenynog Hall during the 1890s, the home of her uncle. Open Doors offers you a chance to see the garden and the potting shed that inspired her to write and illustrate the children's classic "The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies".

Saturday and Sunday 12 noon–4pm | Accessible | Access located 1.2 miles from the Library along the A543

Open Doors - Denbigh Library (28 – 29 September 2019)

Denbigh Library – Information point – a good place to start

Grade II* Listed Building | Hall Square (High Street), LL16 3NU

The Library was formerly the County Hall. It was erected in 1572 as a Shire Hall under the patronage of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, as part of his ambitious plans to become the most powerful man in the country with Denbigh as the seat of his realm. The building is an excellent example of early civic architecture in Wales. The original structure had a council and justice chamber above a colonnaded covered market. It was remodelled in 1780 and again more recently when it was converted to the town’s library.

Saturday 9.30am – 4pm; Sunday 10am – 3pm |
Accessible

Open Doors - *NEW* Pendref Chapel (28 – 29 September 2019)

*NEW* Pendref Chapel

Grade II* Listed Building | Factory Place, LL16 3TS

Pendref opened its doors on New Year’s Day 1802 - the
first purpose built Welsh Wesleyan chapel in Wales.
In 1861 it was agreed to extend the building by raising
its height and extending its length at a cost of £365.
The revamped building was described as an extremely
comfortable chapel.

During 1882-83 the interior of the building was
rearranged into its present form and a large vestry to
accommodate over 200 people and two smaller ones were built to accommodate the Sunday school and the weekly meetings.

120 years later (2019) a considerable sum has been spent on repairs and renovation to the ceiling, repairs to parts of the chapel roof and porch, the vestry and chapel house re-roofed and the interior of the chapel completely redecorated The chapel is a fine example of its period.


Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm; note: Sunday service 10am |Accessible

Open Doors - No. 2 Crown Square (Travelsport) (28 September 2019)

No. 2 Crown Square (Travelsport) | Grade II Listed Building | 2 Crown Square, LL16 3AA

Timber-framed house probably of late C16 date, with C19 part brick and stucco elevations. The island block, to which this building belongs, is shown in John Speed’s depiction of Denbigh for the county map of 1610 and represents an early encroachment into the market place.

Ground floor open as usual (as travel agents) where Information can be provided about the building, and a stairwell leads to first floor where roof timbers can be viewed.

Saturday only 10:00am – 1pm| Accessible to ground floor

Open Doors - Denbigh Masonic Lodge (28 – 29 September 2019)

Denbigh Masonic Lodge (former Tower Hill Congregational Chapel), Broomhill Lane, LL16 3NH

Built in 1872 the building was originally known as the Tower Hill Welsh Independent Chapel. It remained a chapel for over a hundred years whereupon it was sold to a local businessman John Garbett Clay. He used it for storage and in 1986 it was sold to the Masonic Lodge. The building then underwent extensive renovations and the interior adapted to make it suitable as a Masonic Lodge.

Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm | Accessible

Open Doors - Discover Medieval Denbigh (28 September 2019)

Discover Medieval Denbigh

Start: 11:00am & 2:00pm (Saturday only)

Meeting point: Denbigh Library. Tour lasts approx. 2hrs

Pre-booking required

A 1.5 mile walk through Denbigh with Fiona Gale, Denbighshire County Council Archaeologist, exploring the Walls, Leicester’s Church, St Hilary’s Tower, Burgess Gate and the exterior of the Castle.

To pre-book contact Denbigh Library (01745 816313).

Access: some steep hills, suitable footwear required

Open Doors - A tour of Myddelton College (formerly Howell’s School) (28 – 29 September 2019)

A tour of Myddelton College (formerly Howell’s School)

Start: 2:00pm (Saturday & Sunday)

Meeting point: Myddelton College, Peake’s Lane - (main entrance); follow signs. Tour last approx. 1 .5 hours

Howell’s School was an independent school for girls and was open from 1859 to 2013. It is the legacy derived from the Will of Thomas Howell, a Welshman and merchant draper of the City of London, who died in 1537. A new school, Myddelton College, opened its doors in September 2016. Join Wendy Grey-Lloyd on a tour of the grounds of the school to learn more about Thomas Howell and the school itself.

To pre-book contact Denbigh Library (01745 816313)

Access: Some steps, gravel paths, lawns

*** Free Parking - 28/09/19 *** (28 September 2019)

*** Free Parking ***
Courtesy of Denbigh Town Council, all the the pay-and-display car parks will be free of charge on Saturday 28th September in support of our Open Doors Event. Note that normal charges apply on Sunday.
 
Parking is also available free of charge all weekend at the Council Offices, Smithfield Road (near Morrisons supermarket).
 
The car parks included in the initiative are:
 
Multi-storey
Crown Lane
Factory Ward
Post Office Lane
Vale Street 

Open Doors - St Hilary’s Church (28 – 29 September 2019)

St Hilary’s Church Grade I Listed Building | Tower Hill, LL16 3NB
 
St. Hilary’s was built in the early fourteenth century as a church for the walled town. Although St. Marcella’s was the official parish church, St. Hilary’s was much nearer to the centre of population, and it gradually took over many of the functions of the parish church.
 
By the Victorian period, it was in need of extensive repair. The cost of repairs, together with the fact that the church was now too small to accommodate the growing population, led to the decision to build a new church. After St. Mary’s was opened, in 1875, St. Hilary’s was allowed to become derelict. Apart from the tower, which is still standing, St. Hilary’s was completely demolished in 1923.
 
Saturday and Sunday 11am – 4pm | Accessible

Open Doors - St Saeran’s Church (28 – 29 September 2019)

St Saeran’s Church, Grade 1 Listed Building | Llanynys, LL16 4PA
 
St Saeran’s Church now stands on the site where a “clas” or religious community was founded in the 6th century. This 13th century double-naved church, once the mother church of southern Dyffryn Clwyd , is full of interest to visitors, with its Tudor porch, two ancient oak doors, pair of hammer-beam roofs, unusual fluted timber panels, and two chandeliers. Its most striking feature is the 15th century wall painting of St Christopher carrying the infant Christ over a river, a remarkable survival of medieval imagery. The large yew tree in the churchyard is said to mark the centre of the Vale of Clwyd.
 
Parish registers and old bibles will be available to view
 
Saturday and Sunday 11am-4pm | Accessible through the south door
 
From Denbigh, follow the A525 towards Ruthin. Turn left in Llanrhaeadr (before Pentre Motors) and follow the signs to Llanynys.

Open Doors - The King’s Arms (28 – 29 September 2019)

*NEW* The King’s Arms, Grade II Listed Building | Vale Street, LL16 3BE
 
The King’s Arms is probably of early C17 origin and appears to have been an inn since at least the C18 when it was used by drovers.
 
The section abutting Vale Street dates to the second-quarter of the 19 century. The pub is currently closed and this weekend will allow visitors a chance to have a close look at the interior of the building and the original roof timbers.
 
Saturday and Sunday 11am – 4pm | Steps

Open Doors - Wireless in Wales Museum (28 – 29 September 2019)

Open Doors - Wireless in Wales Museum
 
Wireless in Wales Radio Museum, situated on the ground floor of Canolfan Iaith Clwyd/Popeth Cymraeg, was established in 2008. Its purpose is to create an awareness of the importance of radio and broadcasting to the preservation of the Welsh language and identity.
 
The museum is proud of its collection of antique radios, valves, literature and ephemera which cover the period of 1920 to 1960.
 
Wireless in Wales Museum, Lenten Pool, LL16 3LF
10am-4pm
Accessible

Open Doors - *NEW* Woodland Skills Centre, Bodfari (28 – 29 September 2019)

*NEW* Woodland Skills Centre, Bodfari
The Warren, Bodfari, Denbigh, LL16 4DT
 
The Woodland Skills Centre is based in the heart of the Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Set in 50 acres of woodland with permanent Forest School sites, extensive workshops and a two timber-frame Centre buildings with meeting room, resource centre, kitchen and toilet, sheepswool insulation, lime plaster, wood-burner and photo-voltaic roof making it a model of sustainable construction.

Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm | Accessible

Open Doors - Brookhouse Pottery (28 – 29 September 2019)

Brookhouse Pottery, Brookhouse, LL16 4RE

This early 19th century building was originally a malt house supplying the local pubs and breweries. It is robustly built in stone directly on the river which supplied the water for the malting process. Originally it had three floors with very cramped headroom between each. The process demanded generous floor area to maximise the size of the shallow malting cisterns. With the development of industrialised malting the building fell into disuse and in the mid-sixties was converted for use as a pottery. Because of the sturdy construction and sympathetic conversion the strong character remains. The busy pottery run by David and Margaret Frith is an ideal user for this lovely riverside building.

Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm | Access: steps down to the building

Open Doors - Geology Tour (29 September 2019)

Geology Tour

Start: 10:30am

Meeting point: Denbigh Library. Tour lasts approx. 1.5 hours

Pre-booking required

Why is Denbigh special? What has it got in common with Africa & Australia? Where do the building materials of Denbigh come from? Where is Denbigh’s Snake Building? Find the answers to these questions & learn more about the real story behind Denbigh on a short tour of the town’s geological past.

To pre-book contact Denbigh Library (01745 816313)

Access: Walk up and down hill and narrow pavements

Open Doors - *NEW* A tour of Highgate & Love Lane (29 September 2019)

A tour of Highgate & Love Lane

Start: 11:00am

Meeting point: Library. Tour lasts approx. 1 hour

Booking: pre-booking required

This link of the town centre to the castle is a more moderate climb than the steep direct paths. The narrow street features on John Speed’s map of 1610 and retains a medieval atmosphere with a rich variety of buildings.

Access: Steep footways, kerbs