The Lourdes of Wales

…That’s what Holywell, North Wales styles itself as, anyway. St. Winefride’s Well in Holywell (see how that works?) is one of the seven wonders of Wales and an important Roman Catholic pilgrimage site in the United Kingdom. 

IMG_4180 IMG_4168

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St. Winefride was a  7th century Christian Welsh woman who got her head chopped off by an unwanted suitor when she resisted him. Lucky for St. Winefride, her uncle was St. Beuno, who prayed over her until her head fastened back on. She lived as a nun for the rest of her life, as she had desired. A spring appeared at the site where her severed head hit the ground, and people have been making pilgrimage to it ever since. 

IMG_4205

IMG_4204

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St. Winefride’s Well is known for its powers of healing. A collection of wooden crutches from previous visitors is displayed next to information about the known history of St. Winefride, the legend, and the thirteen centuries of continuous pilgrimage.

IMG_4172

An impressive 16th-century Gothic shrine surrounds the source of the well, with a pool for bathing in front. I was intrigued by the centuries of graffiti and carvings from people who had visited and been healed: Mr. Murphy from Cork, Ireland in the mid-19th century, and another fellow from the end of the 18th century, among others. It always amuses me to see that the human need to record our presence has existed long before public toilet stalls.

IMG_4183

IMG_4199

IMG_4198

IMG_4185

IMG_4190

IMG_4195

Advertisements

2 comments

  1. Don Harwood · · Reply

    Tay We are enjoying all your travels and commentary . I like the coin explanation and confusion.:-) : )

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

    1. Glad you two are enjoying it, Papo! I’m learning a lot here.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: