"The houses in the principal streets are brick, and in general small, though neatly built; the streets are kept clean. The view of the city from many points around it, is particularly striking; its elevated position on an eminence near the termination of the Vale of Clwyd, crowned on its summit with the Cathedral, and having the parish church at its base, makes it a conspicuous object from every point of view, and the luxuriant grove of trees in which it is deeply embosomed give it a pleasingly romantic appearance. The surrounding scenery, which in every direction abounds with objects of interest and beauty, is seen to great advantage from the eminence on which the city is built, and from the high grounds in the immediate vicinity." [From Handbook of the Vale of Clwyd , William Davis, 1856]
The ancient parish of St. Asaph consisted of 13 townships. From 1310, responsibility for the "cure of souls" in the parish was shared by the four Vicars-Choral of the Cathedral; and for this purpose, the townships were grouped as follows:
- Brynpolyn, Cyrchynan, Gwernglefryd.
- Bodelwyddan, Pengwern, Fanol.
- Meriadog, Wigfair (or Wickwer) - both in old Denbighshire.
- Bodeugan, Cilowen, Gwerneigron, Rhyllon, Talar.
On 3 August 1860, the townships of Bodelwyddan, Pengwern and Fanol were lost to the newly created parish of Bodelwyddan.
In 1865, the townships of Meriadog and Wigfair were lost to the newly created parish of St. Mary's, Cefn (which is in old Denbighshire).
St. Asaph is often claimed to be the smallest city in Wales.