History in Structure

Tower of St Hilary's Church

A Grade I Listed Building in Denbigh, Denbighshire

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Latitude: 53.1818 / 53°10'54"N

Longitude: -3.4198 / 3°25'11"W

OS Eastings: 305211

OS Northings: 365903

OS Grid: SJ052659

Mapcode National: GBR 6M.3HS0

Mapcode Global: WH771.F9Q4

Plus Code: 9C5R5HJJ+P3

Entry Name: Tower of St Hilary's Church

Listing Date: 24 October 1950

Last Amended: 20 July 2000

Grade: I

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 969

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Also known as: St Hilary's Church
Capel Sant Hilari

ID on this website: 300000969

Location: Located within the walls of the old town immediately N of and below the castle.

County: Denbighshire

Community: Denbigh (Dinbych)

Community: Denbigh

Locality: Denbigh - Castle

Built-Up Area: Denbigh

Traditional County: Denbighshire

Tagged with: Tower Chapel Archaeological site Church ruin Church tower

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The chapel (or church) of St Hilary was conceived from the first as an integral part of Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln's borough town foundation of c1290. As the only church within the town walls (the parish church, St Marcella's being 1.6km distant), it served the needs of both the castle garrison and the citizens of the town. Its first mention, in 1334, refers to the 'chapel within the walls' and Leland, in the 1530s, described it as a 'goodlye and large chappelle in the old towne... whither most of the new towne do yett cumme.' The church was of medium size and consisted of a nave, chancel and W tower; a N aisle was added in the early C18. Following the building of the new town church (St Mary's, Lenten Pool) in 1874, the church was abandoned; in 1923 all save the tower was demolished. A dossal fragment of 1530, known to have hung in St Hilary's until the late C19, is now at St Mary's Lenten Pool. The Tower is probably an early C14 addition to the original nave and chancel; its battlemented parapet is probably C15.

During the Civil War King Charles Ist visited the beleagured Castle governor, Colonel Salesbury, and stayed for three days. On Sunday 28th September 1645 a service was held at St Hilary's attended by the King, the Archbishop of York, Lord Keeper Williams and various other dignitaries.


Square, 3-stage embattled church tower, approximately 14m high. Of limestone rubble with green and red/brown sandstone dressings. Pointed-arched W entrance with inner arch; continuous moulding with no capitals. This has a ribbed, boarded door, probably C16 with restorations. The second stage has single lights to the S and N faces; paired, arched windows to the bell stage, with horizontal wooden slatting. Crenellated parapet above a simple stringcourse, with simple projecting sandstone gargoyles.

The W gable of the nave survives, and has a blocked four-centred arch to the tower.

Reasons for Listing

Listed Grade I for its special importance as the tower to the former garrison church of Denbigh's medieval castle and walled town.

Scheduled Ancient Monuments (AM 5 RCAM 127).

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

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