a celebration of architecture and heritage
Open Doors Denbighshire September 2012
Bodelwyddan St Asaph Rhuddlan Llangollen Denbigh Ruthin
Welcome to Open Doors Denbighshire 2012 Event planner
8 & 9 September: Bodelwyddan, St Asaph & Rhuddlan Introduction and map Events guide Buildings
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8 & 9 September: Llangollen Introduction and map Events guide Buildings
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15 & 16 September: Denbigh Introduction and map Events guide Buildings
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22 & 23 September: Ruthin Introduction and map Events guide Buildings
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Published in July 2012. Not to be reproduced in part or in whole in any form without written permission of the organisers. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure accuracy within this guide, the organisers accept no responsibility for any errors, inaccuracies or omissions which may appear or their consequences. Open Doors is supported by Cadw â€“ Welsh Historic Monuments and organised by the Civic Trust for Wales. Local events are organised by Denbigh and District Civic Society, Llangollen Civic Society, Ruthin and District Civic Association and Denbighshire County Council. Designed and produced by white fox 01352 840898. Some of the photography in this guidebook is courtesy of David Woodfall (www.woodfall.com), Kevin Richardson, Cadw (Crown Copyright) and SBa.
Partneriaeth Cynllun Datblygiad Gwledig Sir Ddinbych Denbighshire Rural Development Plan Partnership
A warm welcome to Open Doors Denbighshire 2012. This event is now one of the largest and most successful of its type in Wales. This year you can visit over 40 buildings spanning six centuries, many of which would not normally be open to the public â€“ or not open free of charge. They are sure to capture your interest, both architecturally and historically, and give you a unique insight into the way some of our major towns have developed over the generations. Denbigh Civic Society, Llangollen Civic Society, Ruthin and District Civic Association and Denbighshire County Council would like to thank all the owners of the properties, the volunteer stewards, and others who help to make these weekends a success. We would also like to thank the sites in Bodelwyddan, St Asaph and Rhuddlan for taking part again.
For details of how to join a civic society, please call 01824 706778.
For up to the minute information, visit our website at: www.opendoorsdenbighshire.org.uk
Make the most of your visit This guide book is divided into four main sections featuring the buildings, activities and events for each weekend. You will find street maps to help you find your way around Denbigh, Llangollen and Ruthin. There is also a map of Denbighshire to help you locate the towns. Access issues have been given where possible. Look out for the yellow AA boards headed “Open Doors” directing you to sites of interest. Opening times of buildings may vary, so please check times when planning your visit. Pre-booking may be needed on many walks and tours, so it is advisable to book early! You’ll find the details in the relevant section of this guide book. Your main points for information during the weekends will be at Denbigh Library, Y Capel in Llangollen and Ruthin Library. Free parking is available in Denbigh and Llangollen in all car parks. Parking is NOT free in Ruthin. Bodelwyddan Castle and Rhuddlan Castle have free car parks.
At a glance Event
Bodelwyddan, St Asaph & Rhuddlan 8 & 9 September Bodelwyddan Castle tours
10.30am, 11am, 12 noon, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm Saturday, 10.30am, 11 am, 12 noon, 2pm and 3pm Sunday
Marble Church and Canadian Graves tour
12 noon and 1pm Saturday, 1 and 2pm Sunday
Rhuddlan Castle guided tours
Rhuddlan Local History Society exhibition
8 September only Discover Medieval Rhuddlan
8.30am-4pm including Holy Eucharist at 8am, Choral Eucharist 11am and choral evensong 3.30pm 7-9pm
10.30am-4pm Saturday, 1.30pm-4pm Sunday 11am and 2pm 11am and 2pm 11.30am and 2.30pm 12 noon-2pm
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Town Hall exhibitions
3pm 2-4pm 11am-3pm/12 noon-2pm 10.30am-4.30pm 10.30am-4pm Visit www.opendoorsdenbighshire.org.uk for more information 10.30am-4pm
History of Plas Newydd exhibition Landscapes exhibition
Y Capel exhibition and ancestry sessions
History tour with “Sarah Ponsonby”
Llangollen Pottery illustrated talk
Motor Museum tour
Archaeology of Llangollen walk
10.30am and 1pm
Llangollen Town Silver Band
9 September only St Asaph Cathedral Saints Sinners and St Asaph at St Asaph Cathedral Llangollen 8 & 9 September St Collen’s Church Plas Newydd talks Llangollen Steam Railway engineering works Valle Crucis Abbey guided tours The Castle in the Air – Castell Dinas Brân storytelling The Old Lock Up talk Canal Pump House Rug Chapel/Llangar Old Parish Church St John’s Church exhibition Eglwys-y-Groes exhibition Eliseg’s Pillar Dig
8 September only
9 September only
At a glance Event
Denbigh 15 & 16 September Bryn Y Parc
Mostyn House tours
10am, 12 noon, 2pm and 3.30pm
Denbigh and the Civil War walk
A Taste of Historic Denbigh tour
From Wireless to Wi-Fi
Historical entertainment at 11am, guided tours at 10am and 1pm
Howell’s School talk Denbigh Castle guided tours Denbigh’s Dove Cotes and Cockpit Yard walk Galch Hill and Gwaenynog Hall walk Blooming Beautiful stroll through time Vale Street walk St Mary’s Church Denbigh Past Present and Future exhibition
11am and 2pm Saturday, 11am Sunday 11.30am and 2.30pm 11.30am 1pm 2pm 2pm 10am-5pm 10am-4pm
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15 September only Discover Medieval Denbigh walk Denbigh pub tour
10.30am and 2pm 11.15am, 1.30pm and 3pm
16 September only Sunday afternoon tea in Leicester’s Church
10am-12 noon and 2pm-5pm 11am, 12 noon and 3pm 11am, 12.30pm and 2pm 2pm 2pm Saturday at Eagle Bakery, 11am Saturday and Sunday Paul Delrue Bookbinding, 3pm Saturday at Patchwork Traditional Food Company St Peter’s 11am-4pm Saturday and 11.30am-4pm Sunday, Llanfwrog 10am4pm Saturday and 2pm-4pm Sunday, St Meugan’s 1pm-3pm
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22 September only Education in Ruthin tour Archives Open House
23 September only Hengoed, Bontuchel tour Ruthin Castle tours Neil Dalrymple Designing a Memorial talk Cefyn Burgess – The Art of the Chapel tour
10am, 12 noon, 2pm and 4pm 11am, 1pm and 3pm 11am, 12 noon, 1pm, 3pm and 4pm 11am
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Ruthin 22 & 23 September The Morning Star and Star Barn Nantclwyd y Dre tours Tyˆ Gwyn, Llanfwrog tours Law and Order guided walk Craft and industry in Ruthin
Parish register displays
Forever Changes: Michael Brennand-Wood exhibition “You Are the Prisoner” at Ruthin Gaol Local history exhibitions at Ruthin Library
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Bodelwyddan Castle St Margaret’s Church St Asaph Cathedral Rhuddlan Castle St Mary’s Church
Bodelwyddan, St Asaph and Rhuddlan
The name Bodelwyddan means “Abode of Elwydan”. Elwydan was a late 15th century chieftain, a younger brother of Cyndrwyn, Prince of that part of ancient Powys which included the Vale of Severn about Shrewsbury. One of the most notable buildings in Bodelwyddan is St Margaret's church, popularly known as the “Marble Church”. Across the A55 from the Marble Church stands Bodelwyddan Castle. It was built by the aristocratic Humphreys family in 1460, before passing on to the Wynn-Williams family in the late 17th century. Llanelwy is the Welsh name for St Asaph. It means the sacred religious enclosure on the banks of the River Elwy. St Kentigern, the bishop of Strathclyde, founded the church and monastery between the year c.560 and c.573; he was driven into exile and founded a monastery at Llanelwy where he remained until his return to Scotland in 573. There are no local commemorations to Kentigern. St Asaph replaced him as abbot-bishop when he died in 596. In March 2012, St Asaph gained city status. Rhuddlan, from the old Welsh rhudd (red) and glan (bank), describes the colouring of the soil of the town, which throughout history has been a strategic crossing point over the River Clwyd with its tidal waters to the Irish Sea. The town has been an inhabited site for probably 3,000 years. Archaeological excavations have suggested that the oldest community was established near Twt Hill. In the course of time have come Roman legions and Saxon and Norman kings with their armies.
Walks and tours Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 September Bodelwyddan Castle tours Booking: pre-booking required. An admission fee will apply for those not booked onto a tour. Access: accessible, unless stated. Please report to the front desk at the main entrance on arrival. Tour of Bodelwyddan Castle. 10.30am, 12 noon and 3pm on Saturday. 10.30am, 12 noon, 2pm and 3pm on Sunday. (Up to 80 minutes; tour begins outside and includes a few steps, adjustments can be made for wheelchair users). Bodelwyddan during World War 1 led by Dr Kevin Mason (Director). 11am and 1pm Saturday only. (45 minutes; includes walking across parkland) The Country House Garden. 2pm on Saturday. 11am and 2pm on Sunday. (60 minutes; includes gravel and paved paths but no steep inclines) Marble Church and Canadian Graves tour Time: 12 noon and 1pm Saturday, 1pm and 2pm Sunday. Approx 30 mins. Booking: booking not required. Access: fully accessible. Led by church wardens. Meet at west door entrance to the church. Rhuddlan Castle Guided Tours Time: 2pm each day. Access: fully accessible to ground floor areas. A volunteer will lead guided tours of the Castle and grounds. Open 10am-5pm for casual visitors.
Bodelwyddan, St Asaph and Rhuddlan
Saturday 8 September only Discover Medieval Rhuddlan Time: 10.30am, tour takes approx 2 hours. Booking: pre-booking required. Access: not accessible, the walk takes you through a field and kissing gates. A walk through Rhuddlan with Fiona Gale, County Archaeologist, exploring Rhuddlan’s history through its buildings. Meet at Rhuddlan Castle.
Sunday 9 September only St Asaph Cathedral Time: 8.30am-4pm. Booking: not required. Access: fully accessible, ramps available for less accessible areas. 8am Holy Eucharist, 11am Choral Eucharist, 3.30pm Choral Evensong. The choirs are led by Alan McGuinness, they have a superb reputation for excellence in choral music and have appeared on BBC TV and radio and have recorded a CD.
Exhibitions & events Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 September St Mary’s Church, Rhuddlan Time: 10am-4pm (Sunday service at 9.30am-10.30am). Access: Steps into church, but ramps are available. Rhuddlan Local History Society will have displays of maps and photos of old Rhuddlan. There will be felt making, traditional spinning, paintings by Mr R Hudson and Crafts by St Mary’s Ladies Fellowship. To book any of the walks or tours, please call 01824 706778 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Saints, Sinners and St Asaph St Asaph Cathedral Time: 7pm-9pm (refreshments available at a small charge). Booking: pre-booking required. Access: fully accessible, ramps available for less accessible areas. A light-hearted celebration of the city, the cathedral, the diocese and its people in words and music performed by Ruth Moore Williams, singer, musician, storyteller and historical comedian. Starts at 7pm with a break to look around the Cathedral.
Where to visit 1 Bodelwyddan Castle Bodelwyddan LL18 5UY, Grade II* Listed Building NGR SJ008 751 Earliest records for the house date from 1460. In 1690, it was bought by Sir William Williams, a Barrister, Recorder of the City of Chester, Speaker of the House of Commons from 1680-81 and Solicitor General to King James II. His descendents stayed until 1920. The house was remodelled in the Gothic Revival style by architects Hansom and Welch in the 1820s. During the First World War, the house was used as a recuperation hospital. From 1920 to 1982, it was home to Lowther College, a girls’ school. Bodelwyddan Castle was subsequently acquired by Clwyd County Council, refurbished and opened to the public as long-term partner of the National Portrait Gallery in 1988. Pre-booked tours only: see events page. An admission fee will apply for those not booked onto a tour. Fully accessible to ground floor, please ask for assistance if required.
2 St Margaret’s Church The Village, Bodelwyddan, Grade II* Listed Building NGR SJ003 754 Known as the “Marble Church” due to the variety of marble used in its interior construction, it took just over four years to build at a cost of £60,000. Commissioned by Lady Margaret Willoughby de Broke in memory of her husband, the church is built mainly of native limestone, quarried and dressed by men recruited from North Wales. The church is in the Decorated Gothic style. It consists of chancel, nave, north and south aisles and a small octagonal vestry at the angle of the chancel and north aisle. It was designed by architect John Gibson who regarded it as his principal work. 8 and 9 September, 9.30am-5.30pm. Fully accessible. Tours available: see events page.
3 St Asaph Cathedral High Street, Grade I Listed Building NGR SJ038 743 The site of this medieval Cathedral has been used as a place of worship since AD 560 when St Kentigern established a monastic community here. Burnt and desecrated at least three times, the present building is a mixture of architecture dating from 13th and 14th centuries and restored in the 19th century by Sir Gilbert Scott. The magnificent stained glass windows and the provocative sculpture “The Naked Christ” are two of the
Bodelwyddan, St Asaph and Rhuddlan
Cathedral’s many notable features. The greatest treasure on display is the original 1588 bible that Bishop William Morgan translated into Welsh. Saturday 8th, closed for a private event. Sunday 9 September, open 8.30am-4.30pm. Fully accessible, ramps available for less accessible areas. Events will be held at the Cathedral on Sunday – see events page.
4 Rhuddlan Castle Castle Street, Grade I Listed Building NGR SJ 024 779 Begun in 1277 and completed in 1282, this was the second of King Edward I's great Welsh fortifications. A protected river dock forms one side of the defences of this concentrically planned castle, dominated by a distinctive diamond-shaped inner ward. Much of the work was overseen by master mason James of St George and was built concurrently with Flint Castle. During the fortification's lengthy construction, the River Clwyd was straightened and dredged to allow ships to sail inland along a man-made channel. This allowed provisions and troops to reach the castle even if hostile forces or a siege prevented overland travel. 8 and 9 September, 10am-5pm. Fully accessible to ground floor areas. Guided tours at 2pm each day. 5 St Mary’s Church Church Street, Rhuddlan, Grade II* Listed Building NGR SJ 021 781 Built in 1301, the original aisle-less church remains as the south nave. In the 15th century it was converted into a double-naved church and the tower was added later in the same century. In 1868-70, the church was restored by George Gilbert Scott, who added the north porch and renewed much of the fenestration. It is said to present the appearance of a typical “Clwydian” or double-naved church of the late 15th century. St Mary’s celebrated its 700th anniversary in 2001 and a stained-glass window depicting the Castle, Church, Bridge and the River Clwyd was commissioned and installed. 8 and 9 September, 10am-4pm (Sunday services at 11am and 3pm). Steps into the church, but ramps are available. Exhibition of local history and crafts.
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Dinas Bran School & Sports Centre
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The Royal Pavilion & Eisteddfod Ground
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The Old Lock-up St John’s Church Plas Newydd Llantysilio Church (off map)
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Y Capel St Collen’s Church Holy Cross Church
Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2012 Produced by www.themappingcompany.co.uk
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VICARAGE R OAD
Valle Crucis Abbey (off map) Castell Dinas Brân Museum Town Hall Railway Sheds Motor Museum (off map) Canal Pump House (off map)
Llangollen derives its name from St Collen who established a church enclosure or “Llan” in the 7th century. This is now the site of St Collen’s Church and churchyard. In the 9th century Cyngen, Prince of Powys, erected a pillar as a memorial to his great-grandfather Eliseg who had withstood the invasion of the Anglo-Saxons in the previous century. Valle Crucis Abbey was founded by the Cistercians in 1200, and they were responsible for many agricultural improvements. The original Corn Mill (rebuilt 1786) was established under their patronage. Castell Dinas Brân was built by Gruffydd ap Madoc, Prince of Powys Fadog, around 1260 but was destroyed shortly after in 1277 before it could be used by the invading English. The bridge, reputedly the first stone bridge over the Dee, was considered one of the seven ‘wonders of Wales’ and was built by Bishop John Trevor of Trevor Hall in 1345. Before the 19th century Llangollen was a small market town centred around the church and the bridge. Today it is known mainly for its International Eisteddfod and the “Ladies of Llangollen”, and their home, Plas Newydd. More recent buildings of interest are the Museum, originally built in the 1970s to house the Library, and the Royal International Pavilion in 1992 to provide a permanent replacement for the previous canvas marquee.
Walks and tours Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 September Please note: The Horseshoe Pass will be closed from 9am-11am on Sunday 9th September for a cycling event. Please check on the Open Doors website. St Collen’s Church Time: 10.30am-4pm Saturday and 1.30pm-4pm on Sunday. Booking: booking not required. Access: fully accessible. Guides will be available throughout the day to talk about the oldest established institution in Llangollen. Plas Newydd Talks Time: 11am and 2pm. Talk lasts about one hour. Booking: pre-booking required. Access: accessible to ground floor. Talks on the gardens, the carvings, the history of the Ladies of Llangollen and Plas Newydd since the time of the Ladies. Casual visitors will be charged an entry fee.
Costumed guided tours by the custodian. The Abbey will be open to casual visitors from 10am-5pm. The Castle in the Air – Dinas Brân in fact and fantasy Time: 12 noon-2pm. Booking: not required. Access: not accessible, steep climbs and good walking shoes required. Come and experience the history, myth and magic that is Dinas Brân, the wonderful hill fort and ruined castle which stands above Llangollen. Sarah Pevely, community archaeologist and Ruth Moore Williams, singer, musician, storyteller and historical comedian will take you on a journey back through time in the place where it all happened. NB The event will be cancelled in severe weather conditions. If the weather is poor please ring
Llangollen Steam Railway Engineering Works Time: 11am and 2pm both days. Booking: pre-booking required. Access: fully accessible. Since the reopening of the Llangollen Railway in 1975 the organisation has built up a fully functioning Engineering Workshop. Meet at works entrance on Abbey Road adjacent to St. John’s Church. Valle Crucis Abbey Guided Tours Time: 11.30am and 2.30pm both days. Booking: not required. Access: accessible to ground floor.
01978 861958 by 10am to check if it’s happening. The Old Lock Up Time: 12 noon-4.30pm. Booking: pre-booking of sessions required. Access: low step (2 inch), accessible to standard width wheelchairs. Owner, Sue Hargreaves, will give a talk and lead sessions on researching the history of your house at 3pm each day (please pre-book). She will also show visitors around and there will be an exhibition of the history of The Old Lock Up.
Canal Pump House Time: open 2pm-4pm. Booking: not required. Access: not accessible. British Waterways will explain the history and workings of the pump house which controls the flow of water at the Horseshoe Falls into the canal. Free parking at Llantysilio Green. NGR SJ19500 43214. Rug Chapel/Llangar Old Parish Church Time: 11am-3pm / 12 noon-2pm. Booking: not required. Access: accessible. Rug chapel’s plain exterior gives little hint of the riches within. Llangar Old Parish Church, a mile or so away, is a few centuries older in construction than Rug. Rug Chapel, LL21 9BT or SJ0655043914.
History of Llangollen Pottery - Town Hall Time: 2pm, talk takes about 45 minutes. Booking: not required. Access: there is a lift to the exhibition area. An illustrated talk on the history of Llangollen studio pottery. Motor Museum Tour Time: 4pm (Saturday only). Booking: pre-booking required. Access: fully accessible with parking. With more than 60 vehicles from cars to invalid carriages and pedal cars, a 50s village garage scene complete with owners quarters, the cars that Granddad used to drive and a small exhibition showing the history and development of our canal network. The museum is 1 mile out of Llangollen on the road leading to the Horseshoe Pass. NGR SJ20629 43588
Sunday 9 September only Saturday 8 September only A History Tour of Llangollen with “Sarah Ponsonby” Time: 10.30am, tour takes approx 90 mins. Booking: not required. Access: accessible – this is a street tour. Meet at the Museum, Parade Street.
The Archaeology of Llangollen Time: 10.30am and 1.30pm. Tour takes approx 2 hours. Booking: pre-booking required. Access: accessible – this is a street tour. A walk through Llangollen with Fiona Gale, County Archaeologist, exploring Llangollen’s history through its buildings. Meet outside the Tourist Information Centre, Y Capel.
Wildlife Walk Time: 1.30pm, walk takes approx 2 hours. Booking: pre-booking required. Access: good walking shoes recommended. A walk with Rhun Jones, Denbighshire’s Senior Countryside Warden, taking in Dinas Brân and the Dee Valley. Meet outside the Tourist Information Centre, Y Capel.
Exhibitions & events Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 September St John’s Church Time: 10.30am-4.30pm. Access: fully accessible. There will be an exhibition of the history of Llangollen Churches and Chapels. With the assistance of Llangollen Museum, the Parish Records, Burial Records, Cemetery plans etc, will be available to view. Eglwys-y-Groes, Holy Cross Church Time: 10.30am-4pm. Access: fully accessible. The church will have an exhibition of the history of the Catholic Church in Llangollen. Eliseg’s Pillar Dig Information unavailable at time of publishing. For more details, please visit the Open Doors website. Town Hall, Castle Street Time: 10.30am-4pm. The Three Bards – an exhibition of the history and work of three Llangollen bards; Jonathan Hughes (1721-1805), Taliesin o Eifion (1820-1876), Gwilym Ceiriog (1858-1919). The history and planned renovation of the Chain Bridge. Remembering those locally who made the sacrifice during WWI and WWII. The History of Plas Newydd – Llangollen Museum Time: 10am-5pm. A new display focusing on the house and its famous former inhabitants, featuring artefacts from the Denbighshire Heritage Service.
Landscape – Y Caban, Plas Newydd Time: 10am-5pm (last admission is 4.15). An exhibition of landscapes of North Wales in oils, by Lorraine Mainelli. Free entry to Y Caban only. Y Capel, Library Time: 10am-4.30pm. Conservation, Adoration and Information 1862-present: how our building has changed. Originally a chapel, the building has since been used as a performance area with sprung floor and a European Centre for Training and Regional Co-operation. ‘Ancestry Library’ and ‘Find My Past’: introductory sessions will be available throughout the day on how to trace family history.
Sunday 9 September only Llangollen Town Silver Band Time: 3pm, Castle Street The band, which has a membership in excess of 70 adults and younger people, has entertained Llangollen and district for more than 100 years.
To book any of the walks or tours, please call Y Capel 01978 860828 or email email@example.com
Llangollen Where to visit 1 Y Capel Castle Street, Grade II Listed Building NGR SJ214420 Main information point on the day â€“ a good place to start. The Chapel was built for Welsh Baptists in the 1860s and was designed to hold a congregation of 400. Built in a Romanesque style, it has a two storey front of brick with stone dressings. There are three arches on pilasters beneath a pediment. The chapel closed in 1982. It was acquired by the County Council and converted for use by the European Centre for Trade and Regional Culture (ECTARC). In 2004 the upper floor became the Library, with the Tourist Office on the ground floor. Original internal features can still be seen in the library, such as the three large roses featured in the arched ceiling, and the windows. Library open: 8 September, 9.30am-4.30pm, and 9 September, 10am4.30pm. Fully accessible. All Library and Tourist Information services will be available throughout the weekend. 2 St Collen's Church Church Street, Grade I Listed Building NGR SJ216419 The Church was founded by the Welsh Saint Collen in the 6th or 7th Century. The present building dates mainly from the 13th century, when it was a typical North Wales two-nave church. In the 1860s the church was extended with a south nave and a chancel to the east. The most remarkable feature of the church is the oak hammer beam roof of the central nave, with its canopy of honour. An earlier roof was destroyed in a fire on St Collen's day (May 21st), circa 1522. 8 September, 10.30am-4pm, and 9 September, 1.30pm-4pm. Sunday services at 8am, 11am and 6pm. Fully accessible. Guides available: see Llangollen events page. 3 Holy Cross Church Oak Street NGR SJ215420 This is the first purpose built Catholic Church in Llangollen. From 1895 the building on this site was R Evans and Son ironmongers. It was rebuilt after a fire in 1908, and finally closed down in 1958, by which time it was known as Zan Ironmongers. It was bought by Catholic ecclesiastical authorities and with voluntary labour it was converted over a period of three years to its new purpose. Where possible it used local materials; more than 2,000 bricks were brought from a disused works at Acrefair, and 2,000 slates came from Rhostyllen. The Altar table was cut out of stone taken from the quarry at Cefn. The church was opened in 1961 by Bishop Petit of Menevia. 8 and 9 September, 10.30am-4pm. Fully accessible. Exhibition: see events page.
Where to visit 4 The Old Lock Up Victoria Square/Berwyn Street, LL20 8ET Grade II listed building NGR SJ215419 Originally built in 1834 as a Lock-Up, Magistrates Room and Committee Room, this building was considerably altered and extended in 1879 to create a Drill Hall and Armoury. The building is in the process of repair and restoration after many years of neglect. The Lock-up and Jailer’s Quarters part of this building, on the ground floor, will be open. An exhibition (courtesy of Llangollen Museum) showing the early history of this building, with the original site plan, building plan and elevations, and specifications for its erection in 1834; with information about its purchase in 1872 by Charles Richards, and how he altered the building to more or less its present condition in 1879. 8 and 9 September, 12 noon-4.30pm. Access: low step (2 inches), accessible to standard width wheelchairs. 5 St John’s Church Abbey Road NGR SJ213424 St John’s Church was erected in 1858. It was originally a mortuary chapel for the new cemetery, created to replace burials at St Collen’s because of health requirements. It consists of nave with north porch and western bell-gable, and is Early English style. In 1870 Welsh services from St Collen’s were transferred here and it became the centre for the Welsh congregation. An addition to the cemetery was consecrated in 1905. 8 and 9 September, 10.30am–4.30pm. Fully accessible. Exhibition: see events page. 6 Plas Newydd Hill Street, Grade II* Listed Building NGR SJ218417 Originally a small three-bay cottage called Pen-y-Maes, it was occupied by Lady Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby, “The Ladies of Llangollen”, from 1780 to 1831. The story of their flight from Ireland captured the imagination of Regency Society. Many influential people of the day, such as the Duke of Wellington, used to visit them. The interior is elaborately decorated with carved oak panels and stained glass windows. The Ladies added Gothic embellishments to the exterior, and the current black and white timbering was a later modification. Free talks can be pre-booked: see Llangollen events page. Casual visitors will be charged an entry fee. Free entry to gardens and Y Caban only. Accessible to ground floor.
7 Llantysilio Church Llantysilio, Grade II* Listed Building NGR SJ194435 Dedicated to St Tysilio (ca 548-640), the present structure dates from 1180. It consists of a nave and chancel, with a north chapel erected in 1718 to accommodate the congregation which formerly had used Valle Crucis. The church was restored and the chapel enlarged in 1869. The font, lectern eagle and the oak panelling above the sanctuary are 14th century. The glass in the narrow window is from about 1460, and the west window is of pre-Raphaelite style. Robert Browning worshipped here for 10 weeks in 1866, commemorated by a tablet near the pulpit. 8 and 9 September, 10.30am-4pm. Sunday service 9.30am. Two shallow steps at the top of a sloping path to the church, accessible via rear access. 8 Valle Crucis Abbey Scheduled Monument NGR SJ204441 Valle Crucis Abbey was founded in 1200 by Cistercians under the auspices of Madoc ap Gruffydd Maelor, the prince of Powys. The name was derived from the valley of the cross of Eliseg’s Pillar. The Abbey was built in several stages, with two fires destroying much of the earlier works. The earliest parts of the structure, the lower parts of the sacristy, and west and south building were constructed of coarse local shale and slate. Later parts used Cefn Sandstone, the upper west gable dating from the early 14th century. 8 and 9 September, 10am-5pm, last admission 4.30pm. Accessible to ground floor areas. Tours available: see Llangollen events page. 9 Castell Dinas Brân Scheduled Monument NGR SJ222430 In a commanding position on a hill to the north east of the town are the ruins of Castell Dinas Brân. The bank and ditch surrounding the castle are the remains of an Iron Age hill fort. The Castle itself was probably built by Gruffydd ap Madoc ap Gruffydd Maelor in about 1260. At the time of Edward I’s Welsh campaign in 1277, the castle was destroyed by fire to prevent it being used by the English. Open at all times. Steep climbs with good walking shoes required. The Castle in the Air: see Llangollen events page.
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Denbigh Library Denbigh Castle Burgess Gate Leicester’s Church Denbigh Town Walls Bryn y Parc Howell’s School
8 9 10 11 12 13
0.5 km 0.25 mile
St David’s Church Mostyn House Dr Evan Pierce Garden St Mary’s Church St Marcella’s Church (off map) Dolbelydr (off map)
Denbigh, in the 11th century, was a border town guarding the approach to the Hiraethog hills and Snowdonia, the Welsh “Dinbych” meaning a “small fortified place”. During the next 200 years the town grew in stature to become a residence of Welsh princes but, in 1282, Edward I overcame the Welsh resistance and the town was granted to Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, who started to build the castle. In 1563 Elizabeth I’s favourite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, was given the castle and lordship of Denbigh and the town grew as a centre of Renaissance culture and enterprise. Denbigh prospered as a market town and many notable Welshmen resided there including Hugh Myddleton, his brother Thomas, H M Stanley, Twm o’r Nant, Richard Clough and Humphrey Llwyd. Today the town boasts over 200 listed buildings in a delightful mixture of styles, from medieval timber and stone to grand Victorian brick. The High Street, wide enough for a market, contains the County Hall, built in 1572 and now a library and gallery, and is flanked by close-knit streets retaining their sense of the medieval town plan. On top of the hill the castle reigns supreme, surrounded by the impressive town walls.
Walks and tours Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 September Bryn Y Parc Time: 10am-4pm. Booking: not required. Access: restricted access. Owner, Tom Smith, will be on hand to answer questions. Self guided tour sheets will be available. Please note that you may be asked to wait to enter the building as numbers are strictly limited. Located at the top of Park Street. Mostyn House tours Time: 10am, 12 noon, 2pm and 3.30pm. Tour lasts about one hour. Booking: pre-booking required. Access: restricted access. Tours of this 18th Century town house that is undergoing refurbishment as part of the Townscape Heritage Initiative. The house has undergone many changes since 2011. Located on Vale Street. Denbigh and the Civil War Time: 10am. Booking: pre-booking required. Access: 3 miles in length and 3 hours in duration, participants should wear appropriate clothing and footwear. The walk focuses on Denbigh in the first half of the 17th century, the battle of Denbigh Green and the siege of Denbigh Castle. The route takes in the town centre and principal civil war sites utilising public roads, public footpaths across fields and some steep climbs near the castle. Meet at Denbigh Library. A Taste of Historic Denbigh Time: 11am both days. Booking: not required. Access: restricted. The Denbigh Volunteer Tour Guides will lead you on an historic tour of Denbigh. The guides attended a series of public lectures all based on
Denbigh and have extensive knowledge of the town’s history. Meet at Denbigh Library. From Wireless to Wi-Fi Time: 11am, performance lasts about 1 hour. Booking: not required. Access: fully accessible. An amusing historical entertainment which tells the fascinating story of how the inventions of a few Welsh wizards of the 19th century, notably David Edward Hughes who hailed from the Bala and Corwen area, resulted in the wireless technology we all take for granted today. Guided tours: 10am and 1pm (tours last about 45 mins), available in English or Welsh (general opening times from 10am-3pm). Welsh Language Centre, Lenton Pool. History of Howell’s School Time: Saturday at 11am and 2pm and Sunday at 11am only. Booking: pre-booking required. Access: fully accessible. A talk about the history of Howell’s school, followed by a tour of the grounds. Meet at main entrance in Courtyard. Denbigh Castle Guided Tours Time: 11.30am and 2.30pm. Booking: not required. Access: limited access. The custodian will lead guided tours of the castle and the new visitor centre. A Walk to Denbigh’s Dove Cotes and Cockpit Yard Time: 11.30am both days. Tour takes 45 minutes. Booking: pre-booking required. Access: fully accessible. A walk to Denbigh’s dove cotes in Middle Lane and Post Office lane with Christopher Sanders. Meet at Denbigh Library.
Galch Hill and Gwaenynog Hall Walk Time: 1pm both days. Walk takes up to 2 hours. Booking: pre-booking required. Access: suitable footwear recommended. A pleasant countryside walk to Galch Hill and Gwaenynog Hall where you will learn about the Hall’s connections to Beatrix Potter. Meet at the Council Offices, Caledfryn, Smithfield Road, LL16 3RJ. Free parking available. Blooming Beautiful, that’s Denbigh! Time: 2pm both days, lasts about 45 minutes. Booking: not required. Access: accessible. A stroll through time with Ruth Moore Williams, singer, musician, storyteller and historical comedian. Come and hear the stories of the history and people of glorious Denbigh in the delightful surrounding of Dr Evan Pierce Gardens. Meet at Dr Evan Pierce Garden. A walk down historical Vale Street Time: 2pm each day, tour lasts about one hour. Booking: pre-booking required. Access: street tour – Vale Street is a long, steep hill. A walk through Denbigh’s history taking in the Medieval, Victorian and Georgian buildings of those times. Meet at Denbigh Library.
Saturday 15 September only Discover Medieval Denbigh Time: 10.30am and 2pm. Tour lasts about 2 hours. Booking: pre-booking required. Access: some steep climbs, suitable footwear recommended. A 1.5 mile walk through Denbigh with Fiona Gale, County Archaeologist, exploring Denbigh’s history through its buildings. Meet at Denbigh Library.
Denbigh Pub Tour Time: 11.15am, 1.30pm and 3pm, tour lasts 1 hour 15 mins. Booking: pre-booking required. Access: accessible – a street tour that will take you into some public houses. Geoff Ward, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, will lead you on an historical tour of Denbigh’s pubs. Meet at Denbigh Library.
Exhibitions & events Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 September St Mary’s Church Time: 10am-5pm. Internally re-ordered in 2009, this building is an example of what can be done to make a Victorian Church suitable for 21st century needs while retaining many original features. Fully accessible. Denbigh; Past, Present and Future Time: 10am to 4pm. An exhibition showing the architecture of Denbigh, including; recent work by Cadw: Understanding Denbigh’s Urban Character; photographs of the Townscape Heritage Initiative scheme; plus more. The exhibition is being held in St Mary’s Church.
Sunday 16 September only Sunday afternoon tea in Leicester’s Church Time: 12 noon-5pm Plas Castell Hotel will be selling afternoon teas in a marquee within the grounds of Leicester’s Church. To book any of the walks or tours, please call Denbigh Library on 01745 816313 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to visit 1 Denbigh Library Hall Square (High Street), Grade II* Listed Building NGR SJ052658 Main information point on the day â€“ a good place to start. The Library was formerly the County Hall. It was erected in 1572 as a Shire Hall under the patronage of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, as part of his ambitious plans to become the most powerful man in the country with Denbigh as the seat of his realm. The building is an excellent example of early civic architecture in Wales. The original structure had a council and justice chamber above a colonnaded covered market. It was remodelled in 1780 and again more recently when it was converted to the town's library and gallery. 15 and 16 September, 10am-4.30pm. Fully accessible. All Library services will be available throughout the weekend. 2 Denbigh Castle Castle Hill, Grade I Listed Building, Scheduled Ancient Monument NGR SJ052662 Denbigh Castle is one of the fortresses that formed King Edward I's "ring of castles", four of which (Caernarfon, Conwy, Harlech and Beaumaris) have been named World Heritage sites. Construction of the Castle began in 1282 by Henry de Lacy, one of Edward I's chief commanders. It was not the first stronghold to occupy this strategic site: it was built over the stronghold of Dafydd ap Gruffudd, the Welsh leader crushed by Edward in 1282. During the Civil War (1642-1649), the then decaying castle was repaired by Colonel William Salesbury. In 1646 the castle endured a nine month siege. When Denbigh finally surrendered on 26 October 1646, it was only after the King had personally ordered Salesbury to do so. 15 and 16 September, 9.30am-5.30pm. Limited access. Guided tours available at 11.30am and 2.30pm, both days. 3 Burgess Gate Castle Hill, Grade I Listed Building, Scheduled Ancient Monument NGR SJ051657 This fortified gatehouse was the entry to the walled town from 1282 onwards and had portcullis, murder holes and arrow slits. It was one of a pair of gateways; the other being the now lost Exchequer Gate. Both were built between 1282 and 1294 by Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, under licence from Edward I and were probably designed by the leading military architect of the day, Master James of St George. The twin towers of Burgess Gate form the symbol on Denbigh's civic seal. The building has also been used as a council chamber and a prison. 15 and 16 September, 10am-5pm. Limited access: step up into tower.
4 Leicester's Church Bull Lane, Grade I Listed Building, Scheduled Ancient Monument NGR SJ053657 Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester and favourite of Elizabeth I, began building Leicester's Church in 1578. It was dedicated to St David and was part of Leicester's grand plan, apparently with the intention of transferring the See from St Asaph to Denbigh. In 1584, work was suspended and the structure remained incomplete on his death in 1588. The church was originally conceived as a ten bay arcaded rectangular church. The imposing ruins are the remains of the first and probably the most ambitious Protestant church to be started after the Reformation. Saturday 15th â€“ closed for a private function. Sunday 16 September only, 10am-5pm. Step up into grounds. Grounds opened courtesy of Mr & Mrs Hobson. Afternoon tea will be served in the grounds from 12 noon-5pm. 5 Denbigh Town Walls Bull Lane, Grade I Listed Building, Scheduled Ancient Monument NGR SJ051657 The town walls encompass the old town and castle of Denbigh and extend for almost two thirds of a mile. Work began in 1282 and included the 20m high Goblin Tower, built to enclose and protect the only reliable water source for the castle. The walls held back the besieging force of Oliver Cromwell's Roundheads for nine months during the Civil War, when the garrison was defended by Colonel William Salesbury, 'Old blue stockings'. The wall walk from the Countess Tower to the Goblin Tower affords superb views across the Vale of Clwyd to Moel Famau and the Clwydian Range. 15 and 16 September, 11am-4pm. Not accessible: many steps and uneven surfaces - suitable footwear recommended. 6 Bryn Y Parc Park Street, Grade II* Listed Building NGR SJ054661 Bryn Y Parc is an important early town house dating from the mid 16th century. The building is a complex arrangement of different builds, some timber framed and some stone built set around a central courtyard. The timbers date from 1540 in the earliest section and up to 1580 in the later additions. The building suffered a severe fire in 2002 and has remained empty until recently. The new owner began the huge task of renovating the building in early 2008. The work is still in progress and a recent feature to be found is a well in the cellar. 15 and 16 September, 10am-4pm. Restricted access. You may be asked to wait before entering the building, as numbers are strictly limited.
Where to visit 7 Howell's School Off Peakes Lane NGR SJ055660 The trustees of Thomas Howell, a cloth merchant who died in Seville leaving a legacy of 12,000 gold ducats for the education of orphaned Welsh maidens, founded Howell's school in 1859. Most of the original 19th century buildings have been preserved and later additions are in the same Victorian style. Set in 120 acres of unspoilt parkland, yet just a few minutesâ€™ walk from the town centre, the Howell's Estate stretches from the walls of Denbigh Castle to the tenanted home farm (Goblin Farm). Talks available: see Denbigh events page. 8 St David's Church St David's Lane, Grade II Listed Building NGR SJ055660 St David's Church was built by Thomas Penson and consecrated in 1840 on a site given by Captain Mostyn of Segrwyd. It was called the new St David's Church after the unfinished cathedral of St David, now known as Leicester's Church, by the castle. The striking window in the south transept is by Edward Burne-Jones, the Pre-Raphaelite painter. There is also a carved white marble reredos depicting the Last Supper. The church was not finished until 1858 and in 1894 it was rebuilt on the present cruciform plan at a cost of ÂŁ3,645. 15 and 16 September, 11am-2pm. Limited access: one step up into church. 9 Mostyn House 42 Vale Street LL16 3BW, Grade II Listed Building NGR SJ054662 Mostyn House dates from the 1720s, and may have been the townhouse of the Mostyn family; a stone cartouche formerly on the building displays the Mostyn crest. Originally of Flemish bond brickwork with sandstone dressings, it was remodelled in late 19th century and again in the 1970s. At one time a shop, it has been converted back into a single dwelling. Extensive improvements to the exterior included the removal of cement render and reversing the shopfront alterations. The house received a grant from the Townscape Heritage Initiative to assist in the completion of this work. Tours available: see Denbigh events page.
10 Dr Evan Pierce Memorial Garden Vale Street, Grade II* Listed Building, Grade II Registered Historic Garden NGR SJ055662 Dr Evan Pierce himself built the 50ft column topped by his statue to mark his philanthropy as Coroner, JP, Alderman and five times Mayor of Denbigh, and his work as a doctor during the cholera epidemic of 1838. Dr Pierce would have been able to see his image from his home in Salisbury Place opposite. This small Victorian public garden was recently renovated. 15 and 16 September, 10am-5pm. Fully accessible. Event: 2pm, see Denbigh events page. 11 St Mary's Church Henllan Place, Grade II* Listed Building NGR SJ050662 St Mary's was built in 1874 to replace the medieval church of St Hilary within the old town walls. Designed by local architects Lloyd Williams and Underwood the church contains an excellent but controversial reredos (the carving on the east wall behind the altar), condemned at the time as “an inducement to Popery and a betrayal of the principles of the Reformation”. 15 and 16 September, 10am-5pm. Sunday Worship in Welsh at 9.45am 10.30am. Sunday worship 11am-12 noon. Fully accessible. 12 St Marcella's Church Whitchurch Road, Grade I Listed Building NGR SJ071662 Built on the site of the 7th century cell of St Marcella, the church is a classic example of the 'Vale of Clwyd' twin-naved style and contains some notable monuments. Buried inside are the map-maker Humphrey Llwyd, members of the powerful Salusbury family and the heart of Richard Clough, the Denbigh-born merchant. Outside is the grave of Twm o'r Nant, poet of Denbigh. 15 and 16 September, 10am-5pm. Sunday worship 9.30-10.30am. Fully accessible. Directions available from Denbigh Library. 13 Dolbelydr Grade II* Listed Building NGR SJ031709 A 16th century stone-built gentry house where Henry Salesbury (1561-1605), physician and humanist scholar, wrote his Grammatica Britannica, published in 1593. Dolbelydr was originally a house of considerable status. It declined through the years, underwent various alterations and stood empty from around 1912. It has been restored by the Landmark Trust. Thursday 13 to Monday 17 September. Thursday-Sunday from 10am– 4pm and Monday from 10am–1pm. Directions available from Denbigh Library.
Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2012 Produced by www.themappingcompany.co.uk
K ROAD ORTH LIN RUTHIN N
N LY CE RD
TS TRE E
Brynhyfryd School & Sports LON Centre R B
RE S ST HO
R STRY D Y B
Ruthin Castle Hotel
D RO AD
LL A N FA I R
LO N S P E I R
Ruthin Library Ruthin Castle Nantclwyd y Dre The Old Courthouse (Nat West) Ruthin Gaol Ruthin Craft Centre Rose Cottage St Peter’s Church and Precinct
9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
4 9 SETLL STREET 10 D OR 1 NE REC DO
R UTHIN A4 9 4
ROAD TION STA
Y NSTA YN DW RD
S CLW Y D M ILL
15 T E 14 OG SRE R 13 94 A4
S T RY D-Y-CAST
RT HY N
M AES H
YR YSGOL FFORD D MO U
N R-AFO IN-Y
D OA ER
EET PR I O R S T R
Craft Centre A494
OAD LD R FIE
F UCHA WERN
L ANO NG WER
HEN LON PARCWR
y River Clw
PA RC W
Capel Pendref Capel y Tabernacl Capel Bathafarn English Presbyterian Church Llanfwrog Church (off map) Tyˆ Gwyn (off map) Hengoed, Bontuchel (off map) St Meugan’s Church (off map)
The name Rhuthun denotes a red fort (Rhudd Din) suggesting a pre-Roman settlement on the sandstone castle ridge. Although there is some evidence of Roman presence in the area, the town as we know it today was established as a borough, protected by a castle and town walls, under the lordship of Reginald de Grey, in 1282, following Edward I's conquest of Wales. Despite being burned down during the revolt of Owain Glyndwr in 1400, Ruthin flourished as a market town and centre for the woollen and leather industries for several centuries. Until 1972 assize courts were held there, and the town continues to be a major administrative centre for the county of Denbighshire. The town is full of architectural interest and delight, including the remains of the 13th century castle, a former courthouse (now the NatWest Bank), which has remained essentially the same since 1400, the newly restored Nantclwyd y Dre, also dating from the early 15th century, and St Peter's Church, which has watched over the development of the town since its foundation in 1284. St Peter's Square is nearby and leading from it, in five directions, there are shopping and residential streets containing a great variety of buildings, from the 16th to the 20th centuries. At the bottom of Market Street, the redevelopment of the Craft Centre is now complete, designed to reflect 21st century architectural principles.
Walks and tours Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 September The Morning Star & Star Barn Time: 10am-12noon and 2pm-5pm Saturday and Sunday. Booking: not required. Access: accessible. The Morning Star, winner of the Quayle Award in 2011, is a new restaurant in Ruthin that has recently been restored after falling into disrepair. The owners will tell you about the restoration project. Star Barn, restored about six years ago, is now the eclectic home of an amateur artist who will be available to show you around. Nantclwyd Y Dre tours Time: 11am, 12 noon, and 3pm. Booking: pre-booking required. Access: fully accessible to ground floor. Tours conducted by Phil Ebbrell, Conservation Architect, Denbighshire County Council. Tyˆ Gwyn, Llanfwrog Tours Time: 11am, 12.30pm and 2pm. Booking: pre-booking required. Access: not accessible. Some narrow, steep staircases and a stone staircase. View the interior of this lovely private home that is not normally open to the public. Shoefree house - please be prepared to remove shoes. Law and Order Time: 2pm. Booking: pre-booking required. Access: accessible, steep hills within the town. The guide will talk about the history of the application of law and order in Ruthin and will end at Ruthin Library where there will be a mock ‘trial’. Meet at Ruthin Gaol.
Craft and Industry in Ruthin Booking: pre-booking required. Access: restricted. 2pm Saturday only: Eagle Bakery, Clwyd Street. The head baker will tell about traditional breads and how they can compete with supermarkets. 11am Saturday and Sunday: Paul Delrue Bookbinding, Crispin, Mill Street. A tour of the workshop and demonstrations of Paul’s work. Lasts approx 1 hour 30. 3pm Saturday only: The Patchwork Traditional Food Company. A talk about the success of the company. Slow Walks Round Ruthin Pick up this booklet of self guided walks from the library.
Saturday 22 September only Education in Ruthin Time: 2pm Saturday. Tour takes approx 2 hours 15 mins. Booking: pre-booking required. Access: restricted access. A tour about the historic setting of the schools and their relevance to life in Ruthin. Includes Brynhyfryd School and Ruthin School. Meet at Brynhyfryd School.
Sunday 23 September only Hengoed, Bontuchel Time: 10am, 12 noon, 2pm and 4pm. Tour takes approximately 1 hour. Booking: pre-booking required. Access: not accessible. Tours of this 15th Century Cruck Hall House which is now a barn. Long, narrow drive, please be patient when leaving and arriving (no passing spaces). Please do not bring dogs or drive on grass verges.
Ruthin Castle Tours Time: 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Tour last approx 1 hour. Booking: pre-booking required. Access: not suitable for wheelchair users, due to steps in the grounds. Tour of the medieval remains and grounds of Ruthin Castle. This tour does not include the hotel. Meet in car park by front entrance. Neil Dalrymple - Designing a memorial Time: 11am, 12 noon, 1pm, 3pm and 4pm, each talk will last about 30 minutes. Booking: pre-booking required. Access: fully accessible. Neil Dalrymple will discuss the design and making of his Tom Price memorial mural - from initial ideas, to maquettes to casting in bronze. Meet at Studio 4, Ruthin Craft Centre. Cefyn Burgess - The Art of the Chapel Time: 11am, tour takes 2 hours. Booking: pre-booking required. Access: fully accessible. Cefyn Burgess will discuss the influence of Welsh Chapels in his work. He will discuss the design and making his chapel pictures - from initial ideas, drawing and colour work to realisation in textile. Meet in the Education Room at Ruthin Craft Centre.
could provide invaluable information for budding genealogists. Forever Changes: Michael BrennandWood Time: 10am-5.30pm. Forever Changes draws from 40 years of work, including many rare and previously unseen works by internationally renowned UK artist Michael Brennand-Wood. Difficult to categorise, Brennand-Wood has frequently worked in unfashionable and contested areas of textile practice: embroidery, pattern, lace and recently, traditions of floral motifs. This major exhibition will be shown throughout the 3 gallery spaces at Ruthin Craft Centre from 22.9.12 - 25.11.12. “You are the Prisoner” at Ruthin Gaol Time: 10am-4pm. Meet the inmates and officers who ‘spent time’ in the Victorian Gaol in the past. Come and hear their stories and even hear some of their music played on instruments of the time. Why not bring the children and dress them up as a prisoner? Let them experience life in “the good old days”! Ruthin Library Time: 10am-4.30pm. The library will have local history exhibitions and a display of properties that have received the Quayle Award, presented by Ruthin and District Civic Association.
Saturday 22 September only
Exhibitions & events Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 September Parish Registers St Peter’s Church (from 11am-4pm Saturday and 11.30-4pm Sunday), Llanfwrog Church (from 10am-4pm Saturday and 2pm-4pm Sunday) and St Meugan’s Church (from 1pm-3pm both days) will have displays of their old registers. This
Archives Open House Time: 10am-2pm. Pop into the archives to see some of our unique collections. Archives are based at the Old Gaol. To book any of the walks or tours, please call Ruthin Library on 01824 705274 or email email@example.com
Where to visit 1 Ruthin Library Record Street, Grade II* Listed Building NGR SJ124581 Main information point on the day â€“ a good place to start. This building has a past associated with crime and punishment: built in 1785 to house records of the Courts of Great Assize, it seemed natural also to use it as a County Hall, or a courthouse. As the building grew in prestige, a portico complete with Doric columns was added to the front during the 1860s. The court last sat here in 1974, but continued as a Magistrates' Court until 1986; it was converted to a library during the early 1990s. 22 and 23 September, 10am-4.30pm. Fully accessible. Tours of the library at 11am and 2pm on both days. All Library services will be available throughout the weekend. 2 Ruthin Castle Castle Street, Grade I Listed Building NGR SJ123580 Like Flint and Rhuddlan, the old Ruthin Castle was erected as part of the English King Edward I's plan to subjugate the Welsh prince, Llewelyn the Last. Begun in 1277, completed in 1284, it survived the attacks of Owain Glyndwr, in 1400. Its royal connections were ended when parliamentary forces almost completely destroyed the building in 1644, during the Civil War. Traces of its five towers, connecting walls and (much altered) gatehouse remain. The site is now occupied by a hotel, built in 1826, extended in 1848-52, notable for its typically Victorian mock-medieval style. Tours of Castle remains on Sunday only: see Ruthin events page, pre-booking required. 3 Nantclwyd y Dre Castle Street, Grade I Listed Building NGR SJ123581 Halfway along Ruthin's most handsome street, Nantclwyd y Dre has undergone extensive restoration. We now know the precise season in which the wood for the hall house was felled (spring 1434) and the name of the man who was, in 1435, granted the land on which the house was built - Goronwy ap Madoc. Nantclwyd y Dre has been much extended and altered, most notably by Eubule Thelwall, who, in 1693, added the front porch which for many is the house's most characteristic feature. Tours can be pre-booked: see Ruthin events page.
4 The Old Courthouse (NatWest Bank) St Peter's Square, Grade II* listed building NGR SJ123583 This building has presided over Ruthin town centre since 1421. The lordship court at Ruthin appointed officials, administered the leasing of lands and mills, and prosecuted the owners of animals who trampled the lord's cornfields. Constructed from a boxed frame, below are the old dungeons, and outside, on the west gable, the remains of a gibbet. The last execution was in 1674, that of Charles Mahoney, who was executed a martyr of the Catholic faith and beatified by the Pope, the first step to sainthood in 1987. The National Provincial Bank bought the Courthouse in 1925-6, and restored it well. Its successor, the NatWest, has recently financed the renewal of some external timbers. Saturday 22 September, 10am-12.30pm. Access to public banking area only. 5 Ruthin Gaol Clwyd Street, Grade II* Listed Building NGR SJ121582 The most prominent building historically associated with crime and punishment, the gaol originated as a 'house of correction' in 1654. In 1774, the local magistrates 'sensible of the miserable state of the ancient prison, in compassion for the unfortunate' built a new prison, which was extended in 1803 and 1812. A four-storey block, modelled on Pentonville Prison in London, was added in 1867-8. It ceased to be a prison in 1916 and was used, among other things, as a munitions factory. It is now open as a visitor attraction and is home to Denbighshire Archives Service. 22 and 23 September, 10am-5pm. Free entry. See events page. Fully accessible. 6 Ruthin Craft Centre Park Road NGR SJ125585 Designed by Sergison Bates architects and funded by The Arts Council of Wales Lottery fund, the new centre is located on the existing site in its own landscape. It is a dynamic zinc and cast stone building with undulating roofs to echo the surrounding Clwydian Hills. The Craft Centre now houses three new galleries with changing exhibition programmes throughout the year in a stunning contemporary building. The craft centre reached the final four in the race for the Art Fund Prize 2009. 22 and 23 September, 10am-5.30pm. Fully accessible. Tours: see Ruthin events page.
Where to visit 7 Rose Cottage 15 Rhos Street Grade II listed building NGR SJ128582 Although small, Rose Cottage is interesting because it shows that not all late medieval houses in the town were occupied by wealthy merchants. Like the larger properties, it is basically a timber-framed hall house retaining some of its original wattle and daub. The original building had only three rooms, indicating that it would have been occupied by a less wealthy family. Various improvements have been made, including the installation of a timber-framed fireplace in the late 17th century, but, by the middle of the 20th century, Rose Cottage was in a dilapidated state. Restored in 2000 by its present owner, his achievement was recognised by the Civic Trust for Wales, and locally by Ruthin and District Civic Association, who awarded him the Quayle Award for 2002. 22 and 23 September, 11amâ€“3pm. Restricted access. 8 St Peter's Church and Precinct St Peter's Square, Grade I listed building NGR SJ123583 St Peter's has been at the centre of Ruthin life since its foundation as a chapel in the parish of Llanrhydd (see number 16 - St Meugan's), in 1284. The present building started life in 1310, and follows the local practice of having two naves, as well as a chancel and central tower. The timber roofs, decorated with heraldry, badges and carved flowers, were added during the 15th century, but the spire only in 1854. The Old Cloisters, where the clergy used to live, date from 1310, and have a vaulted undercroft. 22 September, 11am-4pm, and 23 September, 11:30am-4pm. Sunday service 10.30-11.30am. Fully accessible. The Parish Records will be on display. 9 Capel Pendref Well Street, Grade II* Listed Building NGR SJ124582 Between 1801 and 1851, it has been estimated, a chapel was completed in Wales every eight days! Capel Pendref (Congregational), built in 1827, arrived at an auspicious time; the following year, nonconformists were, for the first time, legally allowed to stand for public office. Pendref ('Top of the Town'), the oldest chapel in Ruthin, reached its present form in 1875 and has an elegant bow front constructed from large even blocks of ashlar and a Tuscan porch. Inside, a gallery runs on three sides under a floral ceiling. 22 September, 11am-4pm, and 23 September, 10am-2pm. Service 2.30-3.45pm. Restricted access.
10 Capel y Tabernacl Well Street, Grade II Listed Building NGR SJ125582 This Welsh Presbyterian chapel, originally home to Calvinistic Methodists, was built by Thomas Williams in 1889-91. The minister then was the Rev Robert Ambrose Jones (Emrys ap Iwan), a famous advocate of Welsh self-government and the Welsh language. Welsh remains the language of worship at Y Tabernacl. Inside, pews are arranged like a horseshoe. The chapel has traceried windows under a broad hammer beam roof and there is an impressive array of organ pipes. The importance placed on preaching is emphasised by the ornamented pulpit; below it is the 'SĂŞt-Fawr' - Deacons' Pew. 22 September, 11am-3pm, and 23 September, 1.30pm-4pm. Sunday services: 10am and 5.30pm. Fully accessible. 11 Capel Bathafarn Market Street, Grade II Listed Building NGR SJ124584 Bathafarn Chapel was built in 1868 for ÂŁ200 to replace Mill Chapel, the original place of worship for the Wesleyans in the town. It was built in memory of the Rev Edward Jones, the pioneer of Wesleyanism in Wales, who lived at Bathafarn Farm, some one and a half miles from town. Designed by Richard Owens of Liverpool in a sub-classical style, it is constructed in red brick with yellow sandstone details. There is room for some 450 to sit easily in the Chapel. 22 and 23 September, 11am-4pm. Restricted access. 12 English Presbyterian Church Wynnstay Road NGR SJ124582 The foundation stone of this church, built by Samuel Owen, was laid on 28th July 1892. The church is pure Gothic, with a porch, a belfry and two transepts. The left transept houses the vestry while part of the right transept contains the organ works and pipes. The east window, visible from the porch, is dedicated to the Rev H L Morris, minister from 1926 to 1949. Immediately below the window is an illuminated cross in light oak, carved and presented to the church by Mr S Dyer-Gough of Nantclwyd y Dre. 22 September, 11am-4pm, and 23 September, 11.30am-4pm. Sunday service 10.30-11.30am. Fully accessible.
Ruthin Where to visit 13 Llanfwrog Church Llanfwrog, Grade II* Listed Building NGR SJ 115 578 Llanfwrog Church is on a hilltop on the western edge of Ruthin with extensive views of the Vale of Clwyd and the Clwydian Range. Christian worship has taken place here since the 6th century, when Mwrog (a little known Celtic saint) first proclaimed the Gospel. The building has been restored many times, most recently in 1999. 22 September, 10am-4pm, and 23 September, 2pm-4pm. Fully accessible via gate entrance past the church. The Parish Records will be on display. 14 Tyˆ Gwyn Llanfwrog, Grade II* listed SJ112 577 The timber framework of Tyˆ Gwyn, built around 1560, can be seen at the front and back of the building resting on stone plinths. The house was originally a large hall with two service rooms leading off and sleeping chambers above. In the mid 17th century, stone gables and chimneys were added, perhaps for Colonel William ('Bluestockings') Salesbury, staunch Commander of the siege of Denbigh Castle. Accessible via tours only: see Ruthin events page. 15 Hengoed Bontuchel, Grade II* Listed Building NGR SJ 090 581 Hengoed is a Cruck Hall House, dated between 1438 and 1447 and “discovered” in 2005, having been used as an agricultural building for over 100 years. The timber framework is remarkably complete and the hall dimensions, particularly the massive arch-braced central truss, are impressive. The oak used was some 500 years old at felling, the oldest recorded in any building in the British Isles. Accessible via tours only: see Ruthin events page. 16 St Meugan's Church Llanrhydd, Grade I Listed Building NGR SJ140577 St Meugan's is the mother church of Ruthin, long predating St Peter's in the centre of town. There may have been a church here from the 7th century but the present building dates only from the 15th century. The monument to John Thelwall (died 1586) and his wife Jane (1585) of nearby Bathafarn House is very fine, if rather gruesome. 22 and 23 September, 1pm-3pm. Sunday service at 3pm. Fully accessible. The Parish Records will be on display.
Published on May 20, 2013