St Winefride’s Well – Holy Shrine and Pilgrimage in North Wales

St Winefride's, Holywell

I was intrigued when Bridget said she wanted to visit a holy shrine in North Wales.

When she said it’s the shrine of a woman who had her head chopped off, then stuck it back on, I knew we had to go!

I thought she’d finally lost the plot, but she was right. So, we went to St Winefride’s Well and Shrine in Holywell, North Wales.

Don’t worry; there are no gruesome pictures in the post.

The Legend of St Winefride’s Well

St Winefride's Well Holy Shrine
The Spring and Well

Legend has it; St Winefride had her head chopped off by a would-be rapist, a man named Caradog.

It is also said that on the same spot, a spring erupted (St Winefride’s Well).

Legend also has it. Rather than dying, Winefride put her head back on and lived?

She then spent the rest of her life as a nun until her second death 22 years later.

Digging a little deeper, her uncle, St Bueno, brought her back to life with prayer.

St Winefride's Museum
St Winefride

Whatever the truth, what is certain is that St Winefride did exist. By all accounts, she was a charismatic Welsh Woman who lived in the 7th century.

The Holy Shrine

Bathing Pool
The Bathing Pool

St Winefride’s Well has been a place of pilgrimage and healing for thirteen centuries. It has attracted notable dignitaries, including Royals and now The Bimblers!

Bridget Relaxing
St Winefride’s Well Grounds
St Winefride's Collage
Inside The Shrine
St Winefride's Well and Shrine
Accessible Grounds in the Shrine

The shrine is open daily, and a daily mass is held next to the well, but please check the times before visiting: Opening Times.

Opening Times
Opening Times and Admission Fee

The entrance fee and funds raised in the souvenir shop all contribute to the shrine’s upkeep.

The Museum

Museum in St Winefride's
Bridget Admiring St Winefride

The museum houses essential documents chronicling the history of the Well. It also includes letters relating to people who have been cured by bathing in the water.

There’s an impressive array of crutches on show in the museum. Presumably, they were no longer needed, but I couldn’t help noticing there was only one modern crutch?

I’m not sure what to make of that!

Crutches
Pilgrims Crutches

Regardless of my scepticism, the museum tells an interesting story and does make you wonder.

Worth a Visit

Absolutely!

And you do not need to be religious, and it’s a pretty tranquil and comforting place to take a moment to ponder.

Statue in the Holy Shrine
St Winefride’s Garden

Incidentally, I managed to push a wheelchair around the whole shrine, and there’s an accessible toilet on site. The toilet requires a RADAR key, and if you haven’t got your own, the reception has one.

Disabled Toilet
Accessible Toilet

You can park across the road from the shrine, there’s also a cafe next door.

In North Wales, St Winefride’s Well and the shrine are worth visiting.

Useful details:

Address: Holywell, Flintshire. CH8 7PN, North Wales

Website: St Winefride’s Well

Facebook: St Winefride’s on Facebook

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy Accessible North Wales and Accessible Holy Trinity.

About The Bimblers 116 Articles
The Bimblers is a travel blog exploring the UK's best accessible holidays. Travelling with a chronic illness or disability just got easier as we share travel tips for wheelchair users and people with limited mobility.