Crowning the hill along with the castle, Denbigh’s town walls enclose only a handful of buildings now, and the real town is spread out beyond the walls. From the late thirteenth century, there were already two settlements here, one within the walls and one outside them. The town within the walls gradually diminished, whilst the town outside them prospered and grew. Early development here was first clustered around a market space, but buildings had encroached onto this open space by the early sixteenth century. Around the edges of the space, and down the long hill that is now Vale Street, development was more formally set out in regular plots. Denbigh contains some remarkable early buildings, both townhouses and shops, and its continued prosperity as a regional market town has resulted in a legacy of fine buildings from many periods. This long history of building lends considerable variety to the townscape with an interesting mix of building types and materials. With its dramatic hilltop position, Denbigh is a richly rewarding town to explore.
The study was prepared to provide a framework that would bring together individual initiatives, including a Townscape Heritage Initiative, and provide a context for detailed survey work on individual buildings. It provides an introduction to the historic character of the town as a whole, as a baseline for planning and management, and a source of information for anyone wanting to get to know Denbigh better.