History in Structure

Leicester's Church (Remains)

A Grade I Listed Building in Denbigh, Denbighshire

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Latitude: 53.1822 / 53°10'55"N

Longitude: -3.4186 / 3°25'7"W

OS Eastings: 305293

OS Northings: 365952

OS Grid: SJ052659

Mapcode National: GBR 6M.3J30

Mapcode Global: WH771.G89S

Plus Code: 9C5R5HJJ+VG

Entry Name: Leicester's Church (Remains)

Listing Date: 24 October 1950

Last Amended: 20 July 2000

Grade: I

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 970

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Also known as: Earl of Leicester's Church

ID on this website: 300000970

Location: Located within the old walled town on Castle Hill, some 50m NE of the tower of St Hilary's Church.

County: Denbighshire

Community: Denbigh (Dinbych)

Community: Denbigh

Locality: Denbigh - Castle

Built-Up Area: Denbigh

Traditional County: Denbighshire

Tagged with: Church building Church ruin

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Leicester's Church was built by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, Baron Denbigh and favourite of Queen Elizabeth, apparently with the intention of transferring the See from St Asaph to Denbigh. Dedicated to St David, work on the new church commenced in 1578 (a dated foundation stone is recorded) and a there is mention of a further dedication inscription of 1579. However, work was suspended in 1584 when the church was still incomplete and following Leicester's death in 1588 the site was used as a quarry. The imposing ruins nevertheless represent the remains of what was probably the most significant and ambitious example of Protestant church building in the Elizabethan period. The church was conceived as a rectangular hall church type with tall N and S aisles and 10-bay arcades.

The area within the walls was subsequently used as a cockpit and arena, where duels are recorded as having been fought in the C17.


Ruins of the former church of St David. Of roughly-dressed local limestone with red/brown sandstone ashlar dressings. The church occupies a site of approximately 54.9m x 22.9m; the N aisle wall and W gable stand to more or less full height, with the S wall and E end having suffered some reduction. Tudor-arched arcades, formerly with Tuscan columns on rectangular plinths forming the arcades; of these only the eastern responds survive. In the westernmost bay is a N doorway with depressed arch and keystone, all now much weathered; the masonry has many visible putlog holes.

Reasons for Listing

Listed Grade I for its importance as the remains of a mid-Elizabethan church founded by Lord Leicester; an almost unparalleled example of grand-scale Protestant church-building in contemporary England and Wales.

Scheduled Ancient Monument (AM 44 RCAM 128).

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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