also known as: HenllanOrder: Carmelites
This Carmelite friary was founded in the late thirteenth century, just outside the town of Denbigh; it was suppressed in 1537 at which time there were four friars. In the sixteenth century the bishops of St Asaph resided in the friary, in the 'Bishop's Chamber', which stood on the east cloister range. An inventory taken at the time of the suppression lists the various buildings of which the friary comprised, namely, the choir, vestry, chamber, hall, kitchen, brewhouse and buttery. Other contemporary sources mention stables, demesnes, terraces, gardens and orchards. show details of standing remains
Standing remainsDedicated to: Mary Medieval Diocese: St Asaph
There are remains of parts of the former church, refectory and dormitory.
The late thirteenth-century church survived intact until the late nineteenth century when it was destroyed by fire. It comprised a choir for the friars in the east and a nave for the public in the west; the two were separated by a screened passage with a lead spire. Interesting surviving features include the blocked perpendicular east window. Seven tile fragments from five tiles that were found in 1986 may have come from this window. They are now preserved in the National Museum and Gallery, Cardiff.
The cloister stood to the south of the church. The friars' chapter-house and the bishop's chamber occupied the east cloister range. The first-floor dormitory and ground-floor refectory occupied the southern range. This block now survives as Abbey Cottage which was largely reconstructed in 1947 but includes some medieval fabric.
The friary is labelled 'The Abbey' on John Speed's town plan which was published in 1610.
Lordship at foundation: Denbigh
Access: Open to the public
Owned by: Cadw
Main events in the history of this site
1270x1280: Foundation - The friary was founded at some time during the 1270s and the 1280s. [2 sources]
1373: Bequest - Llewelyn ap Madoc, bishop of St Asaph, bequeathed 20s to the Carmelites of Denbigh. [1 source]
1483: Burial - Henry, son of Thomas of Salusbury, was buried at Denbigh Priory. [1 source]
1489: Burial - John of Salusbury, son of Thomas, died 9 March 1489 and was buried at Denbigh Priory. [1 source]
1535: Bequest - Bishop Standish bequeathed 20 marks pro edificare claustri to the friars of Denbigh. [1 source]
1537: Dissolution - At the time of its dissolution there were just four friars at Denbigh. [1 source]
1538: Bequest - Richard ap Howel ap Ieuan of Mostyn made a bequest to the friary. [1 source]
+ 5 minor events. Show minor events
13 Printed sourcesshow sources
'The Carmelite Priory. Denbigh', Archaeologia Cambrensis, 5th series, 4:16 (1887), pp. 260-273
Medieval Religious Houses, England and Wales, ed. R. Neville Hadcock and David Knowles (Harlow, 1971) p. 234
Andrews, Frances, The Other Friars: Carmelite, Augustinain, Sack and Pied Friars in the Middle Ages (Boydell: Woodbridge, 2006)
Butler, L. A. S., Denbigh Castle, Denbigh town walls, Lord Leicester's Church, St Hilary's Chapel, Denbigh Friary (CADW guide) (rev. edn; Cardiff, 2007)
Clapham, A. W., 'The architectural remains of the mendicant orders in Wales', Archaeological Journal, 84 (1927) pp. 102-4
Egan, Keith, 'Medieval Carmelite Houses; England and Wales', Carmelus, 16 (Rome, 1969), pp. 142-226
Evans, W. A., 'The Salusburys of Llewenni and the Carmelite Friary in Denbigh', Transactions of the Denbighshire Historical Society, 4 (1955), pp. 20-25
Jones, A, 'Property of the Welsh Friaries at the Dissolution', Archaeologia Cambrensis, 91 (1936), pp. 47-49
Lewis, J. M., The Medieval Tiles of Wales (Cardiff, 1999) p. 233
Lloyd-Williams, R. and Underwood, M., The Architectural Antiquities and Village Churches of Denbighshire (Denbigh, 1872) plates 44-45
Manley, J., 'The cemetery of Denbigh Priory', Transactions Denbighshire Historical Society, 37 (1988), pp. 55-65
Ward, Geoff, Historic Houses of Denbigh Town (RCAHMW: 2006)
Williams, David H., 'The Carmelites in Medieval Wales', in Cofio John Fitzgerald, O. Carm., ed. Iestyn Daniel (Y Cylch Catholig: Pwllheli, 2010), pp. 100-107
6 On-line sourcesshow online sources
(all open in new window)
Silvester, R. J., Hankinson, R., Owen, W. and Jones, N., Medieval and Early Post-Medieval Monastic and Ecclesiastical Sites in East and North-East Wales: The Scheduling Enhancement Programme (report for Cadw) (View website)
Images of this site
Denbighshire, OS Grid:SJ0593966562
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