Churches in Denbigh


Denbigh, St. Marcella

See Welsh Chapels and Churches for a photograph of  St Marcella (Llanfarchell), DenbighOrdnance Survey reference SJ 072662.
St. Marcella was a Welsh saint of the sixth century, sister of St. Deifyr of Bodfari (in Flintshire), and St. Teyrnog of Llandyrnog.
The church of St. Marcella (Llanfarchell in Welsh) stands in rural surroundings about a mile east of the lower end of Vale Street, Denbigh. Despite being so far from the town, it is in fact the original parish church of Denbigh. It is also known as Whitchurch (Eglwys Wen), possibly because its exterior walls were at one time whitewashed.
The church is mentioned in the Norwich Taxation of 1254. However, only the tower, an Early English doorway and the "Priest's Door" still remain of the early building. The rest of the church was built in the late sixteenth century. By 1828, it had fallen into disuse, except for burials, in favour of St. Hilary's, which was much closer to the town centre. It was extensively restored in 1908 / 1909, and was re-opened on 1 April 1909; the cost of £1900 being defrayed by public subscription. The church is still in regular use.

The Clwyd FHS website has a photograph of the church.

Denbigh, St. David

Ordnance Survey reference SJ 056661.
The present St. David's is the second church to be erected on this site. The earlier church was built between 1838 and 1840. The tower, which was not completed till 1858, still remains. However, the rest of the original church was demolished in 1894, and a new building was erected in its place.
St Davids Church is the school chapel for the all-girls boarding school HOWELLS SCHOOL DENBIGH and is now owned by the school trustees who purchased it from the Church in Wales in 2011.

The Clwyd FHS website has a photograph of the church.

Denbigh, St. Hilary

Ordnance Survey reference SJ 052659.
St. Hilary's was built in the early fourteenth century, as the " Garrison Chapel" to Denbigh Castle. It is mentioned in a document of 1335. Although St. Marcella's was the official parish church, St. Hilary's was much nearer to the centre of population, and it gradually took over many of the functions of the parish church.
By the Victorian period, it was in need of extensive repair; and at a Vestry meeting on 26 April 1867, it was reported that £1760 would have to be spent on essential repairs. The decision was taken, unanimously, to erect a new church, (St. Mary's), in a more convenient location. After St. Mary's was opened, in 1875, St. Hilary's was allowed to become derelict. Apart from the tower, which is still standing, St. Hilary's was completely demolished during the 1920's.

The Clwyd FHS website has a photograph of the tower.

Denbigh, St. Mary

Ordnance Survey reference SJ 050662.
The foundation stone of the new church, which was intended to replace St. Hilary's, was laid on 6 July 1871.
The consecration service was due to take place on 29 January 1874; but on 27 January, the Bishop of St.Asaph announced that he would not conduct the ceremony, because he considered that a panel of the reredos "had a somewhat ritualistic tendency" - i.e. it depicted a Crucifix instead of a Cross.
Eventually the panel was removed, and after a delay of almost two years, the Bishop consecrated the church on Tuesday, 7 December 1875. There was further controversy during the service.
St. Mary's now acts, to all intents and purposes, as the parish church of Denbigh.

The Clwyd FHS website has a photograph of the church.