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Unbroken Pilgrimage

By Philip_H
Part of the 16th century shrine over St Winefride's Well, Holywell, Flintshire, Wales. Known as the 'Lourdes of Wales', the well has been a place of pilgrimage and healing - the only such place in Britain with a continuous history of pilgrimage since the 7th century AD.

St Winefride was the daughter of the Welsh nobleman, Tyfid ap Eiludd. She had her head severed from her body by an enraged suitor, Caradog. He was displeased because her religious devotion and a pledge to become a nun caused her to resist his advances. In one version of this tale, her head rolled downhill, and, where it stopped, the healing spring we see today appeared. St Winefride's head was subsequently rejoined to her body due to the efforts of her maternal uncle, St Beuno, and she was restored to life. She later became a nun and abbess at Gwytherin in Denbighshire, after Caradog, cursed by Beuno, melted into the ground.

P Grin

Tags: Wales Flintshire Spring Architecture Holy well Pilgrimage Holywell Shrine St Winefrides well St Winefride Lourdes of Wales

Voters: BillRookery, wrighty76, CarolG and 29 more

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Comments


nonur 11 18 13 Turkey
3 Jul 2016 6:36PM
Very interesting great work of architecture over a well, Philip. What a story behind!
pamelajean Plus
14 1.4k 2162 United Kingdom
3 Jul 2016 7:43PM
Not only a fascinating tale about the shrine, but also an excellent image. I like the way you have used the architecture to frame the well, and have made good use of the available light around the water.
viscostatic 14 47 8 United Kingdom
3 Jul 2016 8:28PM
An interesting tale and a beautiful image.

Phil.
Spkr51 4 United States
3 Jul 2016 11:25PM
Beautiful image and very interesting tale ***
taggart Plus
16 47 14 United States
3 Jul 2016 11:25PM
Thanks so much for this image! --which all by itself is excellent!

I have been reading the Brother Cadfael mysteries by Ellis Peters-- the first A MORBID TASTE FOR BONES tells a tail of this saint and her bones! Lovely to see the shrine!
jocas 5 6 United Kingdom
4 Jul 2016 12:30PM
Great architectural image , supeb exposure and pov - what a grusome taleGrinGrin
Jo
4 Jul 2016 10:09PM
Wonderful architecture and an interesting write up..Lin
Chinga Plus
10 3 2 United Kingdom
5 Jul 2016 6:34AM
A very lovely write up...
Beautiful place, good view point and the spring looks inviting, thank you for sharing....
Isabel
Philip_H 8 1.4k United Kingdom
5 Jul 2016 6:09PM

Quote:Thanks so much for this image! --which all by itself is excellent!

I have been reading the Brother Cadfael mysteries by Ellis Peters-- the first A MORBID TASTE FOR BONES tells a tail of this saint and her bones! Lovely to see the shrine!



Thank you, Jenn.

Yes, although fictionalised in 'A Morbid Taste for Bones', the moving of her bones is based on fact. After her death (c.660 AD) Winefride was interred at her abbey, but in 1138, relics were carried to Shrewsbury abbey to form the basis of an elaborate shrine there. The shrine and her well became major pilgrimage goals in the late Middle Ages, but the shrine was destroyed by Henry VIII in 1540. Thankfully, we still have the well and the beautiful shrine over it.

P Grin

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