6th Century St Dyfnog's Well to be restored

image copyrightGareth Hughes
image captionSt Dyfnog's Well attracted thousands of pilgrims who believed it had healing waters

A 6th Century well half-hidden in woodland in Denbighshire is to be restored to form the centrepiece of a planned religious tourist attraction.

St Dyfnog's Well, which is on the north Wales Pilgrim's Way in Llanrhaeadr, near Denbigh, has fallen into disrepair.

In previous centuries pilgrims visited the well because they believed the water had healing properties.

Volunteers behind the plan have had funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

St Dyfnog was a 6th Century saint who is said to have done penance by standing under the waterfall in a shirt, belted with an iron chain.

By the late middle ages, the spring was among the most renowned Welsh holy wells, attracting numerous pilgrims who believed the water helped treat arthritis, skin complaints and even deafness.

The idea to restore the well was first discussed at a public meeting three years ago looking at ways to enhance the local area.

"Initially the focus was merely on preserving the well from deteriorating any further but we then started considering the environmental, heritage and cultural aspects," said Ann Bitcon, secretary of Llanrhaeadr Preservation Society.

History help

The group now intends to create a £300,000 religious tourist attraction, environmental centre and education facility.

It has received funding from rural enterprise agency Cadwyn Clwyd, along with an initial grant of £24,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for specialists including heritage architects and an ecologist to be brought in.

The group is appealing to anyone who has photographs, books or information about the well to get in touch to help members compile as comprehensive a history as possible.

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