The striking ruins of Denbigh Castle, crowning a steep hill above the town, enjoy commanding views of the pastoral Vale of Clwyd and the round-backed hills of the Clwydian range. Begun by Henry de Lacy in 1282, with the support of King Edward I, the site is dominated by an impressive triple-towered gatehouse, the link between the defended town and castle ward.
Hugh de Lacey, Earl of Lincoln, began the building of Denbigh Castle for
the English King Edward I following the defeat of the Welsh forces in
1282. At the outset, the hilltop was enclosed with stout curtain walls
and half-round towers to protect the town. Following the Welsh Revolt in
1294 when the castle was attacked and occupied by the Welsh in another
uprising under Madog ap Llywelyn the castle walls were strengthened. A
much higher curtain wall, with polygonal towers and a massive
three-towered gatehouse were constructed. These were tested during the
Owain Glyndwr revolt in the early 1400’s. The castle was later affected
by the War of the Roses between 1455 and 1485. Robert Dudley, who later
became Lord Leicester repaired the residential parts of the castle and
also erected a large new church. Denbigh Castle played it's final role
in the English Civil War. For two years, 1643-1645, the Salisburys held
it for the King, and indeed King Charles I of England stayed there
briefly in September 1645 after his defeat at Rowton Moor.
year later and it was one of the last castles to hold out for the King,
eventually yielding to a twelve-month siege and surrendering to the
In 1661 the castle was slighted and no doubt much of the town houses benefited from the abandoned piles of stone.