Welcome to the history of St. Asaph
The Cathedral - Parish Church - Translators - The Legend of Bishop Asaph - Alms Houses

We are the citizens of St. Asaph who represent the many facets which combine to create a modern day centre of commerce, industry and agriculture which has developed around an historic Cathedral - one of the oldest Celtic shrines in Britain, founded in the 6th century.
Our City is maybe small (population 3600) but we can boast many international links through industry and culture. With a colorful and rich heritage, glorious views over the Vale of Clwyd and in close proximity to some of the most spectacular scenery in Wales, St. Asaph is well blessed. We can offer the visitor a very warm welcome, the peace and tranquillity of our riverside parkland, sporting facilities, and good food.

The Cathedral

Although it has the distinction of being the smallest ancient Cathedral in Britain - just 182 ft long and 68ft wide - its contribution to the Welsh nation has been outstanding with the translation of the Bible into Welsh by Bishop Morgan in 1558 of significant importance to the history and continuing strength of the language.

The Cathedral has had a fascinating and often violent history. Attacks by turbulent natives and foreign invaders, destroyed by the soldiers of Henry III in 1245 and again by the armies of Edward I in 1282, substantially rebuilt between 1284 and 1381 only to be burned by Owain Glyndwr's Welsh troops in 1402. The existing building is largely 14th century with many Victorian alterations due to the remodeling by Gilbert Scott in 1867-75.

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Parish Church

 From the Cathedral the High Street runs downhill to the River Elwy and the Parish Church of St. Kentigern and St. Asaph, an unusually interesting structure dating principally from the 15th century with double nave in characteristic Welsh style and with an impressive hammer-beam roof decked with angels in the older south aisle.

The name given to the Church tells the story of its origins, Asaph being the favoured young boy in a monastery established on the banks of the river by the exiled Bishop Kentigern in 560AD who referred to him as the Lord's little boy," and whom he put in charge when he left. "The Lord's little boy".