The Dean’s Library, St Asaph

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Link to French translationThe Dean’s Library, St Asaph

The Very Rev Watkin Williams, then the Dean of St Asaph Cathedral, ordered the erection of this building in 1893 to house the books belonging to the cathedral. This released useful extra space inside the cathedral.

The library building is bigger than it appears when you view the rather squat frontage. The frontage is shorter than the sides and stairs inside lead down to a large basement room.

The building was refurbished in 1971 by the Very Rev Raymond Renowden (1923-2000), who had just been appointed Dean (a post he held until 1992). He sent 2,000 of the most valuable books from the library to the University Library in Aberystwyth. This helped to clear space in the building for conferences to be held there.

He himself was a writer. His books include a biography (1998) of his predecessor, Watkin Williams, and The Role of the Cathedral Today and Tomorrow (1974). He also helped to establish the annual North Wales International Music Festival in St Asaph.

He had joined the Army Intelligence Corps in 1944. Having learned Japanese, he was posted to Japan in 1945. One of his first duties was to escort Emperor Hirohito to Hiroshima to view the destruction caused by the atomic bomb.

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To continue the Words & Music Tour, walk along Upper Denbigh Rd to the school (Glan Clwyd). The QRs are by the entrance at the Theatr Elwy end Navigation next button