A SPECIAL 450th birthday will be one of the highlights of this year’s Denbigh Open Doors event.

The event will return after a three-year break due to the Covid-19 pandemic between September 23 and 25.

Originally the county and shire hall in the town, Denbigh Library, built in 1572, will celebrate its 450th birthday, the same year that Humphrey Llwyd’s first map of Wales was published.

When built, 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.

One notable feature of the library building is the town’s clock, where new gas lighting was introduced to power the clock in 1868.

A few years later, newspaper reports mention local people arriving at the railway station, church and post office in Denbigh at the wrong time, thanks to the clock’s unreliability!

It was eight minutes ahead of Greenwich Meant Time (GMT).


Denbighshire Free Press: Meira Jones is pleased that the Library continues to be a central hub for local peopleMeira Jones is pleased that the Library continues to be a central hub for local people (Image: Picture: Denbigh Open Doors)


Denbigh Library manager Meira Jones explained: “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’re pleased that the library is a central hub for local people, offering a range of local services, to our residents, and most of all, a vibrant location giving children, young people and older people an opportunity to develop their love of books and reading.

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

Denbigh Library is a central information point for Denbigh’s Open Doors event, where people are able to visit and pre-book tours and activities before the weekend itself.

Fifteen local churches will open their doors during the weekend, a unique opportunity to see some wonderful architecture and seek solace and peace in some truly beautiful religious buildings.

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Many are named after local saints, Sant Hychan in Llanychan; Sant Sadwrn in Henllan and Sant Tyrnog in Llandyrnog.

There are notable architectural highlights including a hexagonal stone depicting a bishop holding a crozier seen in Llanynys and a 16th century Jesse window representing the family tree of Jesus at Llanrhaeadr.

The Denbigh area is home to over 200 listed buildings.

One recent renovation project, thanks to 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 sixth century - is also home to three 16th century bridges.


Denbighshire Free Press: Elfed Williams at St Dyfnog’s Well is welcoming visitors to see the newly conservedElfed Williams at St Dyfnog’s Well is welcoming visitors to see the newly conserved (Image: Picture: Denbigh Open Doors)


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.

Elfed Williams, chair of Cymdeithas Cadwraeth Llanrhaeadr YC Preservation Society: “We are delighted with the work which has been ten years in the making.

"It has been a real labour of love by a small team of volunteers who were passionate in securing funds to conserve this wonderful well and its surroundings.

“We look forward to welcoming people to the site to see St Dyfnog’s well at its very best.

"The tales of the waters being attributed with healing powers gives the place a real sense of tranquillity, and we look forward to sharing the story with visitors keen to see the area for themselves.”

Chris Evans, the chair, tasked with overseeing Denbigh Open Doors volunteers, said: “We are super excited to see the 2022 Denbigh’s Open Doors event begin.

"It is a great team effort, with the whole committee, guides and property owners working together to showcase the very best Denbigh and the locality’s rich Welsh history and heritage has to offer.

“Denbigh town’s 4.7 hectare of walls gives people a real insight to the town from differing angles, Burgess Gate, the Friary and Dr Evan Pierce Memorial Gardens are other central delights.

"And outside the town there are a number of stunning locations for people to see.

"Get yourselves ready, check out the website and book your tours as soon as possible!”

For all the information, go to www.visitdenbigh.co.uk/discover-denbigh/things-to-do, see @opendoorsdenbighshire on Facebook or @OpenDoors_D on Twitter.

People can call Denbigh Library on 01745 816313 to book their tours.