Records of Denbigh date back to the 11th
Century where it was described as a small border town. Denbigh (or 'Denbych'
in Welsh meaning 'Little fortress') grew steadily throughout the next
200 years to become a royal residence for Welsh Princes and a focal
point of Welsh power in North Wales.
In 1282 , Edward I conquered the town and fell under English rule. From
that time, the medieval town developed as the building of
the castle was
completed and was protected by the castle town walls.
Denbigh never really knew peace over the next few centuries, being
fiercely contested between the Welsh and English. In 1563 Queen
Elizabeth appointed Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, lordship of
Denbigh and control of the castle becoming in the process
governor-general of North Wales. The next major event was 1643 when
Denbigh became a refuge for a Royalist garrison during the Civil War.
This ceased with the surrender in 1646 after which the castle and town
walls were allowed to fall into ruin.
Throughout these periods the people of Denbigh had long since abandoned
their inconvenient fortress-borough and moved to reside outside the town
walls. This was now amongst the largest and richest towns in Elizabethan
Wales, a powerhouse of Renaissance culture and enterprise, and a
vibrant, prosperous market town.
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