Denbighshire (Welsh: Sir Ddinbych) is a principal area and traditional county in North Wales.
The current principal area of Denbighshire was created in 1996, with substantially different borders to the traditional county of the same name. Places in the principal area include:
The area is mostly hilly moorland, with the Clwydian range in the east, the Hiraethog Moors in the west and the Berwyn range adjacent to the southern boundary. The broad, fertile Vale of Clwyd runs south to north in the centre, and there is a narrow coastal plain in the north. Average temperatures are 2°C in January and 19°C in July.
Denbighshire's total population at the 2001 census was 93,065, with the largest towns on the coast at Rhyl (pop. c.25,000) and Prestatyn (pop. c.15,000). The inland towns are much smaller, Denbigh having a population of 8,500, Ruthin 5,000, and Llangollen 3,300. 18% of the population speaks Welsh, mainly in the upland area and the Vale of Clwyd.
There are no heavy industrial sites in the county although most of the towns have small industrial estates for light industry, the economy of the area being based on agriculture and tourism. A large proportion of the working population is employed in service industries. The uplands support the rearing of sheep and beef cattle, while in the Vale of Clwyd dairy farming and the growing of wheat and barley predominates.
On November 19, 2004, Denbighshire was granted Fairtrade County status.
The borders of the traditional county are substantially different to that of the principal area of the present administrative county of Denbighshire. The traditional county of Denbighshire was created in 1284 under the terms of the Statute of Rhuddlan. It was formed from Cantrefi taken from Gwynedd Is Conwy and Powys Fadog, to include:
- Dyffren Clwyd
- Maelor Gymraeg