When Bridget said she wanted to visit a holy shrine in North Wales, I was intrigued.
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 it turns out she was right. So, off we went 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
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 exact same spot, a spring erupted (St Winefride’s Well).
Legend also has it, rather than dying, Winefride put her own head back on and lived?
She then spent the rest of her life as a nun, until her second death some 22 years later.
Digging a little deeper, it was her uncle, St Bueno, who apparently brought her back to life with prayer.
Whatever the truth, what is for certain is that St Winefride did actually exist. By all accounts, she was a charismatic Welsh Woman who lived in the 7th century.
The Holy Shrine
St Winefride’s Well has been a place of pilgrimage and healing for thirteen centuries. During that time, it has attracted some notable dignitaries including Royals, and now The Bimblers!
The shrine is open daily, and a daily mass is held next to the well, but please check the times before visiting: Opening Times
The entrance fee and funds raised in the souvenir shop, all contribute towards the upkeep of the shrine.
The museum houses important 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 really sure what to make of that!
Regardless of my scepticism, the museum tells an interesting story and does make you wonder.
Worth a Visit
And, you do not need to be religious, it’s actually quite a tranquil and comforting place to take a moment to ponder…
Incidentally, I managed to push a wheelchair around the whole shrine and there’s a disabled toilet on site. The toilet requires a RADAR key, if you haven’t got your own, the reception has one.
You can park across the road from the shrine, there’s also a cafe right next door.
All in all, if you are in North Wales, St Winefride’s Well and the shrine is worth visiting.
Address: Holywell, Flintshire. CH8 7PN, North Wales
Website: St Winefride’s Well
Facebook: St Winefride’s on Facebook