Denbigh castle is situated on the south side of the town high on a hill. It belonged to a series of Welsh princes before being rebuilt by the English in stone. It was granted to Dafydd ap Gruffydd by Edward I after Dafydd assisted the English king put down a Welsh rebellion in 1277. But Dafydd rebelled against the English in 1282. Construction of a new castle at Denbigh was ordered by Edward I after the town was captured by the English. It was built by James of St. George for Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln who was granted ownership by Edward. Denbigh castle was part of King Edward's series of forts built in North Wales in order to put down Welsh rebellions. Construction of the castle and the town's outer wall was interrupted when the town was attacked by the Welsh in 1294 and possibly captured. Building work continued when the English regained control after the uprising was put down. Henry de Lacy died in 1311 before the completion of the building work. The main feature of the castle is the gatehouse which consists of three towers arranged so that any attackers would be exposed to arrow fire from many sides. A series of portcullises, inner doors and a drawbridge were also in place to provide a high degree of defence. In medieval times the houses were contained within the town walls on the hill but due to its steepness these houses were abandoned and the town was relocated on the valley floor below.

Denbigh Castle Key Facts
CountyDenbighshire (4 castles)
DirectionsAt the south-west end of the town of Denbigh. Denbigh is midway between St. Asaph and Ruthin on the A525
CategoriesStone / Cliff-top
RemainsNot complete but much survives
Access to siteOnly open at certain times

1282   Construction of Denbigh Castle
 Another castle was built by Edward I's master castle builder, James of St. George in North Wales.

Episode: Edward I and Wales  
1294   Denbigh attacked by the Welsh
 Denbigh Castle and its town were attacked during the Welsh uprising. The castle may have been captuted.[1] 
1468 Jul  Jasper Tudor's invasion
 King Louis provider Jasper Tudor, the Earl of Pembroke, with three ships and fifty soldiers to invade Wales. The small invasion force planned to gain support against Edward IV and help the Lancastrian garrison trapped at Harlech Castle. The castle was surrounded by the English so Pembroke attacked and occupied Denbigh gaining many supporters. Lord Herbert was dispatched to deal with the threat and defeated Pembroke who managed to escape.

Episode: Wars of the Roses  


Do you want to explore a Saxon Hall, a medieval church or a large stone keep? Click the images below to enter a medieval world.


If you are Using Edge, Chrome Or Firefox

Explore a virtual UK Landscape (Beta)

View this page on a desktop computer to explore a virtual UK landscape.

Virtual Reconstructions

Transport yourself back up to a thousand years and explore historical buildings as they may have appeared in the past.

Explore a Motte and Bailey Castle

Android Phone App

TimeRef UK Castles Mobile App for Android Phone

This Android app allows you to find castles thar are near you. Currently the app includes only English and Welsh castles.

View Details in Google Play Store

View Instructions