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St Hilary's Chapel Tower

A Scheduled Monument in Denbigh (Dinbych), Denbighshire (Sir Ddinbych)

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.1817 / 53°10'54"N

Longitude: -3.4199 / 3°25'11"W

OS Eastings: 305210

OS Northings: 365902

OS Grid: SJ052659

Mapcode National: GBR 6M.3HS0

Mapcode Global: WH771.F9Q4

Entry Name: St Hilary's Chapel Tower

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 2920

Cadw Legacy ID: DE005

Schedule Class: Monument

Category: Tower

Period: Medieval

County: Denbighshire (Sir Ddinbych)

Community: Denbigh (Dinbych)

Built-Up Area: Denbigh

Traditional County: Denbighshire

Description

This monument comprises the remains of a medieval chapel built around 1300 soon after the foundation of the town of Denbigh. Centrally located within the town walls midway between the Burgess Gate and the castle gatehouse, the chapel originally served the English inhabitants who settled the new town.

Only the tower of St Hilary’s now remains, but the position of the chapel is marked by the level terrace east of the tower; the fall of the ground enabled a crypt to be built beneath the eastern half. It was a large building with a nave of five bays, a north aisle and a shorter, narrower chancel. Many of the window openings were enlarged in the Perpendicular style and the north aisle was entirely rebuilt in 1707-11 using stone from the nearby Lord Leicester’s Church.

The un-buttressed tower is of three stages, 4.9m square and 14.1m high. There is a west doorway of about 1300, and single lights at the second stage on both north and south faces, and double lights at the belfry stage on all four faces; the uppermost 1.5m of masonry with the battlemented top is fifteenth century in date. The west gable of the nave remains with a blocked four-centred arch separating the tower from the nave.

It was this town chapel that Lord Leicester intended to replace with his great new preaching hall, more in keeping with the Protestant form of worship. However, St Hilary’s only finally fell into disuse when a new town church was built in 1874. It was demolished in 1923 leaving the tower standing alone.

This monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of medieval religious practices. The scheduled area comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.

Source: Cadw

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