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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:

Denbigh Open Doors 2024 (20 – 22 September 2024)

The 2024 Denbigh Open Doors Weekend launches Friday 20th September 2024 with a geology evening lecture at the Theatr Twm o'r Nant. Over the following two days, Saturday and Sunday 21st and 22nd September 2024 from 10am to 5pm, around thirty historically important sites in the locale will be open to the public, supplemented by children’s workshops and guided tours. 

Further information will be available on www.visitdenbigh.co.uk; https://twitter.com/OpenDoors_D and https://www.facebook.com/opendoorsdenbighshire/

Open Doors - Denbigh Town Walls (Grade 1) (21 – 22 September 2024)

The upper area of Denbigh town occupied the greater part of a 4.7ha walled enclosure crowning the summit of an isolated hill, with the castle at its highest southern end. The most dramatic section is on the east side where a spur wall descends from the Countess Tower to the shattered wreck of the Goblin Tower, which guarded the town's main water supply. This was the scene of fierce fighting during the siege of 1646. Earthworks at its foot may have been constructed by the defence or for the attack.

Open Doors - Denbigh Infirmary Chapel (21 September 2024)

Infirmary Chapel, Ruthin Road, LL16 3ES

Denbigh Infirmary opened its doors in 1807, initially as a dispensary, located in a building on Brook Lane (Factory Place).  This was the first of its kind in North Wales and possibly the whole of Wales.  By 1811, land had been acquired and a news hospital built known as the Denbighshire General Dispensary and Asylum for the Recovery of Health.  Over the years a number of extensions were added which provided additional beds, a laundry and accommodation for fever patients.  In 1957, a new nurses’ home and chapel were opened.  Open Doors provides an unique opportunity for visitors  to learn more about this historic hospital.

Sunday Only; 10am-4pm | Accessible

Open Doors - No. 2 Crown Square (Travelsport) (21 September 2024)

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

A Timber-framed house probably of late sixteenth century with nineteenth century 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 area. The ground floor is open as usual (as a travel agent) 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 - Wireless in Wales Museum (21 – 22 September 2024)

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

Saturday: 11am-4pm
Sunday: 2pm-4pm

Accessible

Open Doors - 12-14 Hall Square (Grade 11) (21 – 22 September 2024)

An early nineteenth century building within the conservation area, restored in recent years. The first OS map, 1874 the shows building as the Hall Square Brewery, with three pubs on its doorstep: Cross Keys, Bull Hotel, and the Eagles with a further fifteen pubs nearby. A central entrance leads to a rear courtyard, with the entrances to both number 12 and 14 leading off to the left and right respectively. It has a second entrance onto Park Street. It is currently fulfilling a wide range of uses including holistic counselling, clothing alterations, candles, balloons, pilates/fitness/yoga and an art studio.

Open Doors - 52 Castle Hill (Grade 11) (21 – 22 September 2024)

Early nineteenth century terrace of cottages (originally three, now reduced to two); in a playful Gothic style and constructed from plundered limestone from the nearby castle ruins. The facade is near-symmetrical and has a recessed central section and outer chimney turrets to the flanking advanced wings.  Listed for its special interest as an unusual early nineteenth century terrace showing a particularly good response to the context of the site in its castellated Gothic conception and detail.

No access to the interior. The owner will be available to answer questions.

Open Doors - Bodfari Woodland Skills Centre (21 – 22 September 2024)

Timber-frame buildings at the Woodland Skills Centre. These buildings use traditional timber-frame building techniques with larch cladding, lime plaster inside, sheep-wool insulation, log-burner and photovoltaic roof. They also conform to twenty-first century planning and building requirements to produce a carbon-negative building with full disabled access and Energy Performance Band A.

Open Doors - Denbigh Library (Grade II*) (21 – 22 September 2024)

Originally constructed in 1572 as the 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. Previously it had a council and justice chamber above a colonnaded covered market. It has been remodelled over the years including when it was converted to the town's library. It will perform the role as the main information hub for the 2024 Denbigh Open Doors Weekend.

Book events at the library 

 

  • TBC

Saturday tours:

  • TBC

Sunday Tours:

  • TBC

Open Doors - The Guildhall (former Bull Hotel) (Grade II*) (21 – 22 September 2024)

This three-storied seventeeth century structure consists of two separate buildings with a rear courtyard containing a former carriage-housing. Known as the Bull Hotel since 1830’s, former names include the Black Bull and the Guild Hall Tavern (a name now readopted). At the siege of Denbigh Castle, during the Civil War) it is believed to be the general’s headquarters. A fine well staircase (seventeenth century) rises full height to the attic floor, the carved gloves appear on each of the newel posts remind us that Denbigh was a leading centre of the glove trade throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Open Doors - Gwaenynog Gardens (Grade 11) (21 – 22 September 2024)

A chance to see the kitchen gardens that inspired the Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies. Beatrix Potter visited the residence of her uncle and aunt on thirteen occasions between 1895 and 1913. Her Sketches of the garden were used to illustrate the book. You can see Mr McGregor's potting shed, looking just as it did in the book. The gardens have been restored to replicate the vista that Beatrix Potter viewed on her visits. They are still visited by rabbits.

Open Doors - Leicester’s Church (Grade 1) (21 – 22 September 2024)

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 apparently part of Leicester’s plan to transfer or replace the cathedral in 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. 

Open Doors - St Joseph's Catholic Church (21 September 2024)

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 - Denbigh Castle (Grade 1) (21 – 22 September 2024)

It was once the royal residence of Dafydd ap Gruffudd, whose attack on Edward I provoked him to mount an invasion. Henry de Lacy built a stone fortress with extensive town walls on top of Dafydd’s stronghold. But the Welsh weren’t finished just yet. The half-complete castle was captured and when the English established control the blueprint had altered. The curtain walls were made higher, an imposing gatehouse was added and an ingenious ‘sally port; a secure secret doorway, allowed defenders to sneak out.

 

Open Doors - Anvil Pottery - Llanrhaeadr Smithy (Grade 11) (21 – 22 September 2024)

A purpose-built Smithy probably constructed in the late eighteenth century, since 1981 housing Anvil Pottery. It now specialises in hand thrown stoneware and earthenware pottery with an emphasis on use rather than ornament. It is possible to purchase pottery direct from the premises. It has made medieval reproductions for museums, re-enactment societies and movies. This includes wassail bowls, harvest jugs, pan mugs and Buckley Ware. 

Open Doors - Denbigh Friary (Grade 11*) (21 – 22 September 2024)

Founded by Carmelites, ‘White Friars’ in the 13th century, Denbigh Friary was a place of worship for both holy men and unordained laypeople. During services the congregation would be split, the friars in ornate choir stalls on the western side and the laity in a separate space to the east. The Friary was suppressed under the orders of Henry VIII in 1538 and all that remains today are the church walls. Following its dissolution, the church found other uses, including as a dwelling, wool store, and malt house.

Open Doors - St Hilary’s Church Tower (Grade 1) (21 – 22 September 2024)

Built inside Denbigh’s town walls around the beginning of the 14th century, St Hilary’s Chapel was the town’s original place of worship and remained in use until the late 1800s. After being abandoned, the building fell into disrepair and now only the tower and a short section of the west wall remain. As well as serving the needs of the local townsfolk, the church received some illustrious visitors during its history. On 28 September 1645 during the Civil War, a service was held here attended by many dignitaries including King Charles I and the Archbishop of York.

Open Doors - St Saeran’s Church (Grade 1) (21 – 22 September 2024)

 Grade one listed St Saeran’s, is a double-naved structure, but it has a more august history, for in the pre-Conquest era it was the mother church for this area of the Vale. It had a monastic community; descendants were documented as late as 1402. It contains many artifacts including a large medieval wall painting of St Christopher, Royal Arms on canvas dated 1661 and the recently restored seventeenth century church bells. Llanynys translates as Island Church, probably referring to the extensive flooding that occurred surrounding and cutting off the church at times.

Open Doors - St Dyfnog (Grade 1) (21 – 22 September 2024)

St Dyfnog did penance at the nearby well in the sixth century, living in nearby. The early church structure was probably funded from pilgrim’s visiting the holy well. Records show that at one time the roof was thatched and the walls white-washed. The oldest part of the church still standing is the thirteenth century tower. The Jesse window, 1533 is a magnificent feature, a representation of the family tree of Jesus. The glass in West window is about hundred years older. The striking golden pelican, 1762 near the Jesse window is copied from an image in the Jesse window.

Open Doors - St Thomas Presbyterian Church (21 – 22 September 2024)

It represents the main English Free Church in Denbigh, a happy amalgam of many denominations. In the 1870’s there was a need for English speaking Methodist church, Capel Mawr had held occasional services for English speakers. Built in the Lombardic/Italian style, displayed in the gabled entrance, with a tower on the site of the former New Inn pub and yard. The foundation stone is dated 1st October 1878 by Watkin Williams (MP) and Thomas Gee (mayor). The first service was not held until 27th June 1880. The impressive church organ dates from 1903, with the old schoolroom rebuilt in 1970.

Open Doors - Dr Evans Pierce Memorial Gardens (21 – 22 September 2024)

Dr Evan Pierce, coroner, JP, alderman, advisor to Queen Victoria and five times mayor of Denbigh. He was a hero of the 1832 cholera epidemic, where about ten per cent of the local population died. He also formed the Denbigh fire brigade. He donated land to himself, right opposite his front door and in the last twenty years of his life, he was able to look out at his own statue atop its 72-feet high Tuscan column. The garden, restored in both 2007 and 2022, is a small formal Victorian public garden with planting typical of its period.

Open Doors - Greenyard Ceramics (21 – 22 September 2024)

Love Lane properties have documents dating from the late fifteenth century and represent early development of Denbigh outside of the walls. These rear plots adjoin the town walls, this can be fully appreciated from this sculptural garden. Most of the buildings in this area are part of the nineteenth century rebuilding programme.  The property and garden showcases the work of Wendy Lawrence, inspired by natural forms using volcanic glazes.

 

Open Doors - Bowers Yard (21 – 22 September 2024)

Bowers Yard consists of a small stone and slate farm building and two red brick sheds. It is situated behind Bowers Villas and across the lane from the former Crosville Bus Station. Denbigh Museum will be showing photos of the area and how it developed from farmland to the present day. There will also be photographs of the Beast Market, now Morrisons supermarket. A collection of videos will be shown in the stone building and paintings by local artists will be housed in the two sheds. 

Open Doors - St Dyfnog's Well (21 – 22 September 2024)

According to tradition St Dyfnog lived at the well, with the spring being named after him in the sixth century. He was famed for doing penance by standing under the spring dressed in his hair shirt belted with an iron chain. The festival of St Dyfnog is held on the 13th February each year.The well became known for its healing powers by the late Middle-Ages this spring was among the most renowned of Wales holy wells, attracting numerous pilgrims and bardic poems in its praise. By the nineteenth century it was a ruin but has been lovingly restored to its magnificence by the St Dyfnog’s Well Restoration Project. 

Open Doors - Theatr Twm O’r Nant (21 – 22 September 2024)

Dr Evan Pierce Memorial Hall, now Theatr Twm O’r Nant. Dr Evan Pierce, a noted nineteenth-century physician, built at his own expense in 1890 to the memory of his mother.  At the time it included a museum of his lifetime achievements. It is constructed in a late Victorian Classical Style with a symmetrical facade and central entranceway sitting beneath a portico, which is supported on fluted columns with a pediment above that carries Queen Victoria's Royal Coat of Arms. It will function as an information hub at the bottom of town with toilets and an opportunity for refreshments.

Open Doors - Burgess Gate (Grade 1) (21 – 22 September 2024)

The Burgess Gate is a late thirteenth century stone two-storied gatehouse. It was the principal entrance to Denbigh medieval town. Built simultaneously with the castle, it was possibly designed by master mason, James of St George, a leading military architect. The vaulted vehicular entrance is flanked by twin round towers, which rise from rectangular bases with pyramidal spurs. The interior passage was originally defended by a ditch, crossed by a bridge, a portcullis, and a set of murder-holes in the vault. Above the gate are two first floor chambers, with a single triangular-headed window and chequer-work decoration to the fore.