Mount Road to Conservative Club
This walk takes you to the lower town. Find your way along Mount Road until you reach Red Hillat the end on theleft. Walk down the steep hill and look over the wall on your right at a building that was the Old Grammar School, and note the “100 steps” going down.
Keep going to the bottom of the hill with “Summerhill” on your left. This used to be a ruinous cottage, where it was understood, lived Jack-y-Russians, an old soldier from the Crimean War. The newish Council houses on the right, replaced old thatched cottages. Keep ahead along Luke Street, “Clawdd Elwy” at one time was home to three musicians, and the new housing on the right recently replaced the LegionHouse, and before that the Victory Cinema (opened after WW1).
Continue along to Lower Street, and notice the older dwellings huddled together, almost like an old fishing village. On the left used to be the “White Horse Inn” in 1895, and next to it “Hand Vaults” which became a fish and chip shop. One of the oldest houses in St Asaph faces you at an angle on the left at “awkward corner”. It has had numerous names and uses such as “Old China Shop”, “Pot Shop”, “Plas Llwyd” and “Penyrenti”. It had been a meeting house for the Wesleyan Methodists and until fairly recently it was a funeral parlour, and has a priest’s hole.
On the right at the corner you will find a house that in 1835 was an inn, the “Cross Keys”, and afterwards a bakery and grocer, behind which was “Forge Square”. “Earthworks Pottery” was previously part of the Inn, formerly “The Bull” but now “The Bridge” restaurant. Adjoining the Parish Church wall was “Liverpool House” which sold provisions and had its own bake house. It later sold wireless and television sets, but the building burnt down and the site has been cleared.
Go into the Churchyard and find the grave stone of “Dic Aberdaron”, it is on the row by the railings fronting the High Street. Go inside St Kentigern’s Church, sadly there is very little information about its history, but it was built about 1524 and restored in 1872 and again 1889.
Before walking up the High Street, turn back towards the road bridge and read the signboards about St Asaph’s history and the HM Stanley obelisk – examining the fine workmanship of this new, controversial piece of art. Move towards the War Memorial and reflect on those who are named. The Mary Short Fountain by the Bowling Green, commemorates Bishop Short’s wife. There are metal plaques giving more information.
The fountain has been moved from the Old Canonry wall (see walk 1) and replaced a tin shack selling meat to the poorer people of St Asaph. Across the road is “Fountain” garage, which stands on the site of the Corn Mill. At this point you can explore the nearside river bank near the children’s playground where there is a signboard giving you information about the Bridge, built in 1770.
From here you can follow the footpath underneath the Bridge to the green space known as Roe Plas which has rare black poplar trees, Community Rooms and tennis courts. At the far end are allotments. Next door to the garage are old coach houses and the Lodge which belonged to the “Old (Bishop’s) Palace”, now a Residential home. Walk through the gates and up the driveway to the Palace noting the fine Georgian frontage. Remains of a much older wall are in the garden.
Looking up the High Street from the churchyard, notice the Indian Takeaway side on. After it was part of the old coaching inn, it became a bank, wine and spirit merchants and Parish Council Offices. Under the top of the archway can be seen a hatch for loading luggage onto the coach. The brick built “Kentigern Arms” formerly “Kinmel Arms” and before that the “Rose and Crown”, has interesting stone cellars and cobbled flooring, suggesting its foundations were medieval. Note”The Welsh Maid”, Bill and Ben’s and Fagin’s Corner. “City Travel” was known as “Lower Shop” in 1905, when it was a drapers and haberdashers. Since then it has been an ironmongers and a pharmacy. Continue up the left hand side of the High Street, passing Flucon Pumps, the Chinese Takeaway and the Conservative Club.