Sunday, December 01, 2013

A gloomy Sunday.

It’s been overcast and dull all day today, with occasional spells of light drizzly rain. Not cold, just a bit miserable.

Meg and I set off back up the canal to park Mill Bridge this morning, to find the right footpath across the fields to take us to St. Winifred’s Well.

We went entirely the wrong way the other day, this time, with a little help from an OS map on my PDA, we found it without any bother. It’s actually only 10 minutes from the canal!

There’s the half-timbered chapel, standing over the well.SAM_7367

SAM_7369The well itself

The waters from the spring are supposed to have healing properties, so stone tanks or cisterns have been constructed below the well to trap the water for, presumably, full immersion. It’s pretty cold, though…

Legend has it that the spring came into existence after the bones of St Winifred briefly rested here on a journey to Shrewsbury. They were being moved from Holywell, in Flintshire, at the time. St Winifred was a 7th century Welsh princess, martyred after spurning the advances of a young prince, Caradoc. He reputedly cut off her head as she tried to run away. The well at Holywell, an important pilgrimage site, is where her head ended up, until recovered and re-attached by her uncle, Bueno. She apparently went on to become Abbess to an order of nuns in Gwytherin, Denbighshire.

The building above the well, believed to have once been a chapel, is now a holiday let, managed by the Landmark Trust. This company specialises in odd-ball lettings, there’s a former lock-keepers cottage on the Worcester and Birmingham Canal,  a lengthsman’s cottage on the Stratford, and Tixall Gatehouse overlooking the Staffs and Worcester near Great Haywood. These are just the canal-located properties, there’s plenty more in their portfolio, all with some historical or design significance.

Leaden skies over Wales

I chopped a bit of the wood off the roof (to make room for some more tomorrow, all being well) then cleaned the windows on the inside before fitting our winter secondary glazing.

This consists of cut-to-fit sheets of clear 6mm acrylic, screwed to the frame with foam draught seal in the joint. Only on the saloon and galley windows, it’s surprisingly effective.

We’ll definitely be heading back up the canal tomorrow, aiming to be back on the Llangollen mid-

Locks, 0, miles 0

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