Denbigh Castle and a scenic drive down the A525

31 Aug

The weather was lovely and sunny when we set off. I was moaning (one of my main hobbies don’t forget !) that the weather report was incorrect yet again.

Then near St Asaph in North Wales, the dark cloud which had appeared from the West suddenly burst and we were inundated.

As we arrived in the lovely town of Denbigh however, the day dried up and we were free to make the sharp climb up through the narrow side streets to the Castle perched on top of the rock on which the whole place stands.

The Castle was very substantial and must have been the proud possession of all that “owned ” it. There were many that did. Welsh and English. The town had many shops proudly sign written in Welsh. I love this. The English attempted to eradicate the Welsh language completely for a while. I find thia particularly nasty. In the local supermarket, the public announcement that tills were opening and closing came first in Welsh and then in English. If we stayed long enough I could have learned how to count to at least six. For there were six checkouts ! The Castle well may have claimed the life of Edmund, son of de Lacy. A 50ft vertical fall is always deadly.

We almost had the place to ourselves. At one point there were just four people wandering around, soaking up the atmosphere.

One of the most interesting features was a “back door” in the perimeter wall. A spiral stone staircase , square in plan view, built for horses, two abreast or more. There would have been a drawbridge and full protection using murder holes and arrow slots for defence. It’s purpose? Probably a quick access to hunting grounds, woodlands and beyond, negating the need to negotiate the busy town side of the Castle on the way out. Quite a place!

For the return trip, we just stayed on the A525 via Ruthin and Wrexham, all the way home . It almost challenges the A5 as an interesting, scenic route through North Wales to the border with England, Cheshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire.

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