The holy well at St Winefride’s has been a place of pilgrimage since at least 1115. It is said to spring from the spot where 7th-century Welsh abbot St Beuno brought his niece Winifred back to life, though it’s likely that this story may actually have much older, pagan origins.
The chapel itself dates from the late 15th century. Set into the hillside, it’s a striking and unusual building, richly decorated and exceptionally well-built. On the bottom floor, the spring water bubbles up into a star-shaped basin beneath an elaborately vaulted ceiling before flowing out into a more recent outdoor pool, where pilgrims still visit to bathe in its waters with their claimed healing properties.
Reputedly the oldest continually visited pilgrim site in Britain, it’s on the route of the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way that travels along the Llŷn Peninsula to Bardsey Island, the legendary ‘Isle of 20,000 Saints’.
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