Pilgrimage to Holywell in North Wales – Saturday 7th May 2016

As the first Ordinariate pilgrimage in Britain within the framework of the Called to be Catholic project during this Jubilee Year of Mercy, Monsignor Keith Newton will lead pilgrims to St. Winefride’s Well in Holywell, Flintshire, North Wales. Here is the pilgrimage poster:

Holywell pilgrimage poster

According to legend, St Winefride’s Well first erupted at the spot where her would-be rapist Caradog cut off her head with his sword. Restored to life at the prayers of her uncle St Beuno, Winefride lived as a nun until her second death some 22 years later. Whatever the exact truth of her legend, Winefride herself was real rather than legendary, and the extraordinary and enduring personality of this 7th-century Welsh woman has meant that she has been venerated as a Saint ever since the moment of her death. Since that time, too, her Well at Holywell has been a place of pilgrimage and healing – the only such place in Britain with a continuous history of public pilgrimage for over 13 Centuries, including the visits of many Kings and Queens. It has come to be known as the Lourdes of Wales.


Surviving records of cures claimed after bathing at the Well begin in the 12th Century and continue to the present; and the shrine still possesses a fine collection of wooden crutches discarded by the cured in former times.

The present shrine building is a glorious 2-storey Late Perpendicular Gothic building erected in the first years of the 16th Century, and is unique in the world. It is a Grade I Listed Building and a Scheduled Ancient Monument, which numbers among the “Seven Wonders of Wales”.


(descriptive text taken from the website of St. Winefride’s Well)

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