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Sir Ddinbych
Arms of Denbighshire County Council.svg
Coat of arms
Denbighshire UK location map.svg
Denbighshire shown within Wales
Sovereign state Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom
Constituent country Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales
Preserved county Clwyd
Established 1 April 1996
Administrative HQ Ruthin
Largest town Rhyl
  Type Principal council
  Body Denbighshire County Council
   Executive TBA (council NOC)
  LeaderHugh Evans (Independent)
  ChairmanMeirick Lloyd Davies
  Chief ExecutiveJudith Greenhalgh
   MPs James Davies (C)
David Jones (C)
Simon Baynes (C)
  Total326 sq mi (844 km2)
Area rank 8th
  Rank 16th
  Density300/sq mi (114/km2)
99.3% white
Time zone UTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
  Summer (DST) UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
GSS codeW06000004
ISO 3166-2 GB-DEN
NUTS 3 code UKL13
ONS code 00NG

Denbighshire (Welsh : Sir Ddinbych; [ˌsiːr ˈðɪnbɨ̞χ] ) is a county in north-east Wales. Its borders differ from the eponymous historic county. This part of Wales contains the country's oldest known evidence of habitation – Pontnewydd (Bontnewydd-Llanelwy) Palaeolithic site has Neanderthal remains from some 225,000 years ago. Castles include Denbigh, Rhuddlan, Ruthin, Castell Dinas Bran and Bodelwyddan. St Asaph, one of Britain's smallest cities, has one of its smallest Anglican cathedrals. Denbighshire is bounded by coastline to the north and hills to the east, south and west. The River Clwyd dominates a broad valley with little industry: crops appear in the Vale of Clwyd and cattle and sheep in the uplands. The coast attracts summer visitors, while hikers frequent the Clwydian Range, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with the upper Dee Valley. Llangollen hosts the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod each July. [1]



The main area was formed on 1 April 1996 under the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994, from various parts of the county of Clwyd. It includes the district of Rhuddlan (formed in 1974 entirely from Flintshire), the communities of Trefnant and Cefn Meiriadog from the district of Colwyn (entirely Denbighshire) and most of the Glyndŵr district. The last includes the former Edeyrnion Rural District, part of the administrative county of Merionethshire before 1974, covering the parishes of Betws Gwerfil Goch, Corwen, Gwyddelwern, Llangar, Llandrillo yn Edeirnion and Llansanffraid. [2]

Other principal areas including part of historical Denbighshire are Conwy, which picked up the remainder of 1974–1996 Colwyn, the Denbighshire parts of 1974–1996 Aberconwy, and Wrexham, which corresponds to the pre-1974 borough of Wrexham along with most of Wrexham Rural District and several parishes of Glyndŵr. Post-1996 Powys includes the historically Denbighshire parishes of Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, Llansilin and Llangedwyn, which formed part of Glyndŵr district. [2]

Early history

Researchers have found signs that Denbighshire was inhabited at least 225,000 years ago. Bontnewydd Palaeolithic site is one of the most significant in Britain. Hominid remains of probable Neanderthals have been found, along with stone tools from the later Middle Pleistocene. [3]


In 2021 February, archaeologists from Aeon Archaeology announced a discovery of over 300 stone age tools and artefacts in Rhuddlan. They revealed scrapers, microliths, flakes of chert (hard, sedimentary rock), flints and even rudimentary tools. An expert, Richard Cooke, believes that the remains belonged to people who was passing through and made camp by the river more than 9,000 years ago. [4] [5]


See also List of places in Denbighshire.

The eastern edge of Denbighshire follows the ridge of the Clwydian Range, with a steep escarpment to the west and a high point at Moel Famau (1,820 ft (555 m)), [6] which with the upper Dee Valley forms an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – one of just five in the Wales. [7] The Denbigh Moors (Mynydd Hiraethog) are in the west of the county and the Berwyn Range adjacent to the southern edge. The River Clwyd has a broad fertile Vale running from south–north in the centre of the county. There is a narrow coastal plain in the north which much residential and holiday-trade development. [6] The highest point in the historic county was Cadair Berwyn at 832 m or 2,730 ft), but the boundary changes since 1974 make Cadair Berwyn North Top the highest point. Denbighshire borders the present-day counties of Gwynedd, Conwy, Flintshire, Wrexham, and Powys.


Denbighshire's total population at the United Kingdom Census 2001 was 93,065, which increased to 93,734 at the 2011 census. [8] The largest towns on the coast are Rhyl (2001 population c. 25,000) and Prestatyn (2001 population c. 18,000). According to the 2011 Census returns, 24.6 per cent stated they could speak Welsh. [9]

In 2019, research by UnHerd in association with the pollster FocalData showed that most people across the county support the British monarchy. [10]


Since the 20th-century demise of the coal and steel industries in the Wrexham area, there is no heavy industry in the county. Although most towns have small industrial parks or estates for light industry, the economy is based on agriculture and tourism. Much of the working population is employed in the service sector. The uplands support sheep and beef cattle rearing, while in the Vale of Clwyd dairy farming and wheat and barley crops predominate. [11] Many towns have livestock markets and farming supports farm machinery merchants, vets, feed merchants, contractors and other ancillaries. [12] With their incomes on the decline, farmers have found opportunities in tourism, rural crafts, specialist food shops, farmers' markets and value-added food products. [13]

The upland areas with their sheep farms and small, stone-walled fields are attractive to visitors. Redundant farm buildings are often converted into self-catering accommodation, while many farmhouses supply bed and breakfast. The travel trade began with the arrival of the coast railway in the mid-19th century, opening up the area to Merseyside. This led to a boom in seaside guest houses. More recently, caravan sites and holiday villages have thrived and ownership of holiday homes increased. [14] Initiatives to boost the economy of North Wales continue, including redevelopment of the Rhyl seafront and funfair. [15]


The North Wales Coast Line running from Crewe to Holyhead is served by Transport for Wales and Avanti West Coast services. Trains leaving Crewe to pass through Chester, cross the River Dee into Wales, and continue through Flint, Shotton, Holywell Junction (closed in 1966), Prestatyn, Rhyl, and stations to Bangor and Holyhead, which has a ferry service to Ireland. [16]

There are no motorways in Denbighshire. The A55 dual carriageway runs from Chester through St Asaph to the North Wales coast at Abergele, then parallel to the railway through Conwy and Bangor to Holyhead. The A548 run from Chester to Abergele through Deeside and along the coast, before leaving the coast and terminating at Llanrwst. The main road from London, the A5, passes north-westwards through Llangollen, Corwen and Betws-y-Coed to join the A55 and terminate at Bangor. The A543 crosses the Denbigh Moors from south-east to north-west, and the A525 links Ruthin with St Asaph. [17]

There are local bus services between the main towns. Several services by Arriva Buses Wales run along the main coast road between Chester and Holyhead, linking the coastal resorts. Another route links Rhyl to Denbigh. [18]


Denbighshire is represented in the House of Commons by three MPs. The Welsh Labour Party lost to the Welsh Conservatives in the 2019 general election for the first time. [19]

The following MPs were elected from Denbighshire in 2019:

Denbighshire is also represented in the Senedd by three members elected in 2021:

See also

Related Research Articles

Flintshire County and Principal area in Wales

Flintshire is a county in north-east Wales, bordering the English county of Cheshire to the east, Denbighshire to the west and Wrexham County Borough to the south. It is named after the historic county of Flintshire which has notably different borders. Flintshire is considered part of the Welsh Marches and formed part of the historic Earldom of Chester and Flint. The county is governed by Flintshire County Council which has its main offices in County Hall, Mold.

Flintshire (historic)

Flintshire, also known as the County of Flint, is one of Wales' thirteen historic counties, and a former administrative county. It mostly lies on the north-east coast of Wales.

Denbighshire (historic)

Historic Denbighshire is one of thirteen traditional counties in Wales, a vice-county and a former administrative county, which covers an area in north east Wales. It is a maritime county, bounded to the north by the Irish Sea, to the east by Flintshire, Cheshire and Shropshire, to the south by Montgomeryshire and Merionethshire, and to the west by Caernarfonshire.

River Clwyd

The River Clwyd is a river in Wales that rises in the Clocaenog Forest 5 miles northwest of Corwen. Its total length is 35 miles.

Clwyd Preserved county of Wales

Clwyd is a preserved county of Wales, situated in the north-east corner of the country; it is named after the River Clwyd, which runs through the area. To the north lies the Irish Sea, with the English ceremonial counties of Cheshire to the east and Shropshire to the south-east. Powys and Gwynedd lie to the south and west respectively. Clwyd also shares a maritime boundary with Merseyside along the River Dee. Between 1974 and 1996, a slightly different area had a county council, with local government functions shared with six district councils. In 1996, Clwyd was abolished, and the new unitary authorities of Wrexham, Conwy County Borough, Denbighshire, and Flintshire were created; under this reorganisation, "Clwyd" became a preserved county, with the name being retained for certain ceremonial functions.

Corwen Human settlement in Wales

Corwen is a small town, community and electoral ward in the county of Denbighshire in Wales. Historically, Corwen is part of the county of Merionethshire. Corwen stands on the banks of the River Dee beneath the Berwyn mountains. The town is situated 10 miles (16 km) west of Llangollen and 13 miles (21 km) south of Ruthin. At the 2001 Census, Corwen had a population of 2,398, reducing to 2,325 at the 2011 census. The community includes the villages of Carrog and Glyndyfrdwy. The built-up area according to Nomis was 477 but does not include the estate of Clawdd Poncen. Including Clawdd Poncen the total is 777.

North Wales geographic region in Wales

North Wales, also known as the North of Wales, is a geographic region of Wales, encompassing its northernmost areas. It borders Mid Wales to the south, England to the east, and the Irish Sea to the north and west. The area is highly mountainous and rural, with Snowdonia National Park and the Clwydian Range, known for its mountains, waterfalls and trails, located wholly within the region. Its population is more concentrated in the north-east, and northern coastal areas of the region, whilst significant Welsh-speaking populations are situated in its western and rural areas. North Wales is imprecisely defined, lacking any defined defintion or administrative structure. For the public purposes of health, policing and emergency services, and for statistical, economic and cultural purposes, North Wales is commonly defined administratively as its six most northern principal areas, but other defintions of the geographic region exist, with Montgomeryshire historically considered to be part of the region.

Vale of Clwyd (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, 1997 onwards

The Vale of Clwyd is a constituency of the House of Commons of the UK Parliament created in 1997 and represented since 2019 by James Davies of the Conservative Party. As with all extant seats its electorate elect one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system at least every five years.

The Vale of Clwyd is a tract of low-lying ground in the county of Denbighshire in northeast Wales. The Vale extends south-southwestwards from the coast of the Irish Sea for some 20 miles forming a triangle of low ground bounded on its eastern side by the well-defined scarp of the Clwydian Range and to the west by numerous low hills. The River Clwyd which rises within Clocaenog Forest, southwest of Denbigh, runs the full length of the vale. It is joined by the two major left bank tributaries of the River Clywedog and River Elwy and the smaller right bank tributary of the River Wheeler.

Clwyd South (Senedd constituency) Constituency of the Senedd

Clwyd South is a constituency of the Senedd. It elects one Member of the Senedd by the first past the post method of election. Also, however, it is one of nine constituencies in the North Wales electoral region, which elects four additional members, in addition to nine constituency members, to produce a degree of proportional representation for the region as a whole.

Vale of Clwyd (Senedd constituency) Constituency of the Senedd

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Conwy & Denbighshire NHS Trust was an NHS Trust in Wales. The headquarters of the Trust were in Glan Clwyd Hospital, in Bodelwyddan, near Rhyl, Denbighshire. The Trust was named in the 'Top 40 Hospitals' in the UK for the fifth year running in 2006, a title conferred by CHKS.

The Vale of Clwyd and Conwy Football League was a football league formed in 2011 following the split of the Vale of Clwyd Football League, which itself was formed in 1974 as an amalgamation of the Dyserth League and the Halkyn Mountain League. The Premier Division was in the fifth level of the Welsh football league system in North Wales. The league folded in 2020 due to a reorganisation of the Welsh football league pyramid, with many teams joining the North Wales Coast East Football League.

The Clwydian Way is a waymarked long-distance footpath in the United Kingdom, running through Denbighshire in north-east Wales.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board is a Local Health Board in North Wales. It is the largest health organisation in Wales, providing a full range of primary, community, mental health, and acute hospital services for a population of around 694,000 people across the six principal areas of north Wales as well as some parts of Mid Wales, Cheshire and Shropshire.

1882–83 Welsh Cup football tournament season

The 1882–83 FAW Welsh Cup was the 6th edition of the annual knockout tournament for competitive football teams in Wales.

North East Wales

North East Wales is an area of Wales, commonly defined as a grouping of the principal areas of Denbighshire, Flintshire, and Wrexham County Borough in the north-east of the country. These principal areas comprise most of the former administrative county of Clwyd. It is bordered by Conwy, and Gwynedd, in North West Wales to the west, Powys, in Mid Wales to the south, the English counties of Cheshire, and Shropshire to the east, and the Irish Sea, and Dee estuary to the north. It is the more urban, densely populated, and industrial part of the north Wales geographic region, centred on the towns of Wrexham, Rhyl, and Prestatyn, and the conurbation of Deeside. The region's close links with North West England are crucial to the region's economy. The Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is located in the region. Other attractions include: historical buildings such as; Chirk Castle, and Erddig in Wrexham, valley towns such as; Corwen, and Llangollen, and the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site.

Townshend Mainwaring was a British Conservative Party politician.

The North Wales Coast East Football League is a football league in Wales, at tiers 4 and 5 of the Welsh football league system in North Wales, founded in 2020. The league is under the control of the North Wales Coast Football Association. The league replaced the former Vale of Clwyd and Conwy Football League, and covers the North East of Wales. A corresponding North Wales Coast West Football League will be also be established at the same time.


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Coordinates: 53°05′12″N3°21′16″W / 53.08667°N 3.35444°W / 53.08667; -3.35444