Corwen is best known for its connections with Owain Glyndŵr, who proclaimed himself Prince of Wales on 16 September 1400, from his nearby manor of Glyndyfrdwy, which began his fourteen-year rebellion against English rule. A life-size bronze statue of the prince mounted on his battle horse was installed in The Square in 2007. It commemorates the day he was proclaimed the last true Prince of Wales in 1400.
The town grew as a centre for cattle drovers. Attractions in Corwen include the motte of a Norman castle, the thirteenth century Church of St Mael and St Sulien and the Capel Rûg built in 1637 by William Salesbury.
Corwen Golf Club (now defunct) was founded in 1909. The club closed at the onset of WW2.
Located in the hills of north Wales, the main economy of Corwen is based in and around farming. The town's main employer is local trailer manufacturer Ifor Williams Trailers, started by a farmer looking to transport sheep to the local market.
In the 1860s Corwen was linked to the national rail network in 1864 by a line from Ruthin along the Vale of Clwyd and in 1865 with a Great Western Railway branch line along the Dee valley from Ruabon. The station was a vital development in the town's importance as the centre of the local Agriculture industry. Unfortunately neither survived the Beeching Axe in the 1960s. The town is now linked to the Llangollen Railway, with a temporary station, Corwen East (Welsh: Dwyrain Corwen), which opened on 22 October 2014. The permanent way had been extended into Corwen in late spring 2014, but work is still required to construct a new permanent Corwen railway station alongside the town's main car-park.
Bus services in Corwen were primarily provided by GHA Coaches with routes available to Wrexham via Llangollen on services 5 and T3, Barmouth via Bala and Dolgellau on service T3 (now operated by Lloyds Coaches), and to Ruthin on service X5 (now operated by Arriva Buses Wales), with through services continuing to Denbigh. Llew Jones operate a twice daily, weekday service to Llanrwst with one journey extended to/from Bala.
Corwen is the last sizeable town on the A5 road from London to Holyhead until Betws-y-Coed is reached. Because of this it still contains a number of hotels which were used in the past as coaching inns for the Mail coach and stagecoaches. Although the A5 is no longer the most important road to Holyhead, having been superseded by the coastal route of the A55, there is still significant traffic travelling through the town centre’s narrow main street.