Denbigh Castle

This castle was once the royal residence of Dafydd ap Gruffudd

It was this attack on nearby Hawarden Castle provoked that English king Edward 1 to mount a full scale invasion.

So by 1282 Denbigh was in the hands of the king`s commander Henry de Lacy.

He lost no time in building a huge stone fortress with extensive town walls on top of Dafydd`s stronghold. But the Welsh weren’t finished just yet. The half completed castle was attacked and captured and by the time they got it back the English had changed the blueprint.

They made the curtain walls much higher, added the imposing gatehouse and inserted an ingenious `sally port` a secret doorwauy, so that defenders could leave in an emergency.

Unfinished maybe but the castle continued to attract events of national importance. In 1400 Henry Percy held Owain Glyndwr at bay for more than 2 years before rising up against the English crown himself.

In 1563 it was granted to Queen Elizabeth`s favourite and some say lover, Robert Dudley.

The newly created Baron Denbigh and Earl of Leicester made a few minor repairs to the living quarters but most of his energy was reserved for a grandiose scheme to build a church of cathedral-like magnificence inside the town walls.

At the outbreak of the Civil War it was Colonel William Salesbury`s unenviable job to defend the the castle for the Royalists He held out for six months against overwhelming odds but was eventually instructed by King Charles 1 to surrender.

Salesbury and his men marched out of the castle with flags flying, drums beating and trumpets sounding and even their muskets were loaded!!!!

A castle with a fascinating history, well worth a visit where I believe they have sound effects provided by modern technology to evoke the drama of medieval warfare.

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