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Historic shire hall takes centre stage at this year’s Denbigh Open Doors event

14 Sep 2022 3 minute read
Denbigh Library. Photo by Jeff Buck is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

A special birthday will be one of the highlights of this year’s Denbigh Open Doors event held between the 23 and the 25 of September.

This year’s festival, which celebrates Wales’ built heritage, sees Denbigh Library take centre stage as its 450th birthday is celebrated.

Originally the county and shire hall in the town, the building which is home to the library was built in 1572, the same year that Humphrey Llwyd’s first map of Wales was published.

Originally the building’s ground floor was a colonnaded covered market space, with council and courtrooms above.

During the Victorian era, police cells were built for prisoners waiting to enter the courtroom, used as a county court, before the county council later convened at the building.

Town clock

The library building also incorporates the town’s notorious clock, with newspaper reports in the 19th century mentioning locals arriving at the railway station, church and post office in Denbigh at the wrong time, thanks to its unreliability. It was eight minutes ahead of Greenwich Meant Time.

Denbigh’s Library manager, Meira Jones, said: “In 1989 the building became the town’s official library, giving it status at the top of Denbigh’s market town. We have been fortunate in 2018 to see the library refurbished offering the modern-day amenities that people need, thanks to a Welsh Government’s Museums, Archives and Libraries grant.”

“We look forward to welcoming visitors to a guided tour of the building and help mark this special occasion, with us.”

Fifteen local churches will also open their doors during the weekend, including Sant Hychan in Llanychan; Sant Sadwrn in Henllan and Sant Tyrnog in Llandyrnog.

Other notable architectural highlights over the weekend include the chance to see a hexagonal stone depicting a bishop holding a crozier  in Llanynys and a 16th century Jesse window representing the family tree of Jesus at Llanrhaeadr.

Ffynnon St Dyfnog – St Dyfnog’s Well, Llanrhaeadr. Photo by Llywelyn2000 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

One recent renovation project backed by Heritage Lottery funding is the Grade II listed plunge pool at St Dyfnog’s Well in Llanrhaeadr.

Situated in the grounds of St Dyfnog’s Church in the heart of the village, the well dating back to the 6th century is also home to three 16th century bridges.

They had fallen into disrepair due to their age, but thanks to a volunteer led project by the local community, the site has been conserved and a path has been completed to allow better access to the site.

For full details of the weekend’s events click here… 

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