Denbigh Castle is located in Gwynedd, south of Rhuddlan and St. Asaph. The castle was built by Henry de Lacy after King Edward’s conquest of Wales in 1282.
Like many castles built by the Normans, Denbigh is sited over the top of an ancient settlement and palace of the Kings of Gwynedd. The most recent castle before the Conquest by Edward was held by Dafydd ap Gruffydd, the usually treacherous brother of Llywelyn, who made Denbigh his seat. He built a substantial castle, though all of it was destroyed after 1282. The Welsh referred to it as Dinbych, an abbreviation of Dinas Fechan, meaning “little fortress”. Lacy’s castle was finished by 1294. It was besieged in rebellions by the Welsh led by Madog ap Llywelyn and Owain Glyndwr, and finally ruined by forces of Oliver Cromwell.
Still visible today are the extensive remains of the gatehouse, towers, and curtain wall, as well as the wall of the ‘planted’ town for English settlers brought in by Lacy to populate the area after the Welsh were defeated (and evicted). These ruins can be visited today.
Denbigh is the seat of Dafydd ap Gruffydd in Footsteps in Time and the even earlier castle is the setting for events in the Lion of Wales series.