This pocket-sized cathedral stands on a site originally picked out by St Kentigern, and is named for his successor, the 6th-century St Asaph. The present building dates back to the 13th and 15th centuries, and details from this later period include the carved wooden choir stalls. Gilbert Scott made changes in the 19th century, and the decorative ceiling was only added in the 1960s. The cathedral’s greatest treasure is found in the translators’ Chapel: the bible translated into Welsh for the first time by William Morgan in 1588. Morgan went on to become bishop here in 1601, and is buried beneath the bishop’s throne in the Presbytery. A modern addition to the cathedral is the starkly moving statue by Michele Coxon, The Naked Christ, which hangs in the South Transept.
- Open all year
- Opening Times: Open daily all year, Mon-Sat 9–6.30, Sun 7.30–4
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About the area
The north-east Wales county of Denbighshire shares a name – though not the same borders – with one of Wales’s thirteen historic counties. It includes the seaside holiday towns of Rhyl and Prestatyn; the medieval county town of Denbigh; and the tiny cathedral town of St Asaph.
Pretty Llangollen in the south of the county is part of the 11-mile UNESCO World Heritage Site beginning at the Horseshoe Falls, in Denbighshire’s Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and following the Llangollen Canal along its length to Thomas Telford’s cast iron Pontcysyllte Aqueduct just over the border in neighbouring Wrexham.
Today, the county is predominantly rural, with sheep and cattle rearing in the upland areas. Much of the economy is based around tourism, with plenty of holiday cottages and B&Bs available around the seaside towns, while attractions further inland include plenty of castles – try Rhuddlan, Denbigh, Dinas Bran or Bodelwyddan – the Llangollen–Corwen heritage railway and the Victorian Ruthin Gaol.
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