St. Hilary’s Chapel was built in the early 14th-century as the garrison chapel for nearby Denbigh Castle. The official parish church was actually St. Marcella’s, but St. Hilary’s was closer to the center of the town and eventually took over many of the functions of a parish church.
The chapel consisted of a five-bay nave, north aisle and chancel, as well as the still surviving west tower. Many of the original windows were replaced by larger openings and the aisle was rebuilt in the 18th-century.
During the English Civil War in 1645, a service was held here attended by many dignitaries including King Charles I, Lord Keeper Williams, and the Archbishop of York. By the middle of the 19th-century however, St Hilary’s was in need of extensive restoration. It was decided to erect a new church in a more convenient location rather than repair the chapel.
After the new church opened, St. Hilary’s became derelict. The roof was removed in 1904 and the church was finally demolished, except for the tower in 1923.
The still standing three-story tower is 49 feet (15 meters) high and has two belfry openings on all four sides. It also has a battlemented parapet with projecting gargoyles. The tower became a Grade I listed building in 1950.
Know Before You Go
St Hilary's Chapel is just down the hill from Denbigh Castle.