The Divine Quest

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“A lake is a landscape’s most expressive feature.

It is Earth’s eye, looking into which the beholder

measures the depth of his own nature.”

Henry David Thoreau

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When I visited the lake at the end of October, the peace and tranquility were palpable.  I have come to love this solitude and silent communion with nature. My heart sings and my spirit dances with delight. I am a child again.

As I sat, entranced, I was reminded of the words of the Indian guru, Paramahansa Yogananda:

“Each minute of life should be a divine quest.”

This was one of those precious moments, an eternal moment frozen in time, as the world faded away and my heart soared.  

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Llyn Mair [Welsh for ‘Mary’s Lake’] is an artificial lake near Maentwrog in the county of Gwynedd, North Wales. It was created in 1889 by William Edward Oakley, as a 21st birthday present for his daughter Mair.  The position of the lake, bordered with ancient oak woods, and its tranquil appearance, makes this a popular picnic site for visitors, and it is also a starting point for a number of local country walks. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Llyn_Mair]

I Am Sailing, I Am Sailing…

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“Allow your mind to sail as if on a calm sea,

and you will get to port more quickly.”

Image: The Harbour at Porthmadog, N W Wales.

Pilgrimage Part 3: St James Church

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This is St James the Apostle’s Church in Holywell, North Wales. [Holywell is named after the Holy Well of St Winefride.]  

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THE INTERIOR SACRED POOL AT ST WINEFRIDE’S WELL

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THE EXTERIOR BATHING POOL AT  THE WELL

The church is situated on a hillside overlooking St Winefride’s Well,  and adjacent to St Winefride’s Well Chapel.

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The tower is fourteenth century.  The rest of the church mostly dates from the eighteenth century.

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The interior of the church is pervaded by a sense of peace and tranquility. 

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 The church is said to have been founded by St Beuno in the 7th Century,and was dedicated to his neice, St Winefride, for many centuries. 

It was re-dedicated to St James the Apostle in the eighteenth century, after substantial restoration.

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Link to Pilgrimage Part 1:

https://isabellarosephotography.net/2016/08/12/a-pilgrimage-to-st-winefrides-holy-well-part-1/

Link to Pilgrimage Part 2:

https://isabellarosephotography.net/2016/08/31/pilgrimage-part-2-st-winefrides-holy-well-chapel/

Pilgrimage Part 2: St Winefride’s Holy Well Chapel

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St Winefride’s Well Chapel is located in Holywell, Flintshire, North Wales.

The 15th Century chapel was built over the Well, with its crypt providing the vaulted arch ceiling to the Well chamber.

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The chapel stands adjacent to St James’s church.

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It was thought to have been built by order of Lady Margaret Beaufort (Lady Stanley, mother of Henry VII).

The chapel is kept locked but the key can be obtained for a £5 returnable deposit, from the custodian at St Winefride’s Holy Well Visitor Centre.

Link to Pilgrimage Part 1:

https://isabellarosephotography.net/2016/08/12/a-pilgrimage-to-st-winefrides-holy-well-part-1/

Link to Pilgrimage Part 3:

https://isabellarosephotography.net/2016/08/31/pilgrimage-part-3-st-james-church/

 

A Pilgrimage to St Winefride’s Holy Well [Part 1]

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St Winefride’s Holy Well, with St James Church rising up behind.

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The spring itself is housed in a Well Chamber that forms the basement to St Winefride’s Chapel.

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THE STAR-SHAPED HOLY WELL IN THE WELL CHAMBER

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THE INTERIOR OF ST WINEFRIDE’S SACRED WELL

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A spring wells up in the sacred well pool in the Well Chamber below the Chapel of St Winefride’s

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THE MEDIAEVAL VAULTED CEILING ABOVE THE WELL

The waters flow from the Well Chamber to an outdoor bathing pool.

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THE OUTDOOR BATHING POOL WITH THE MUSEUM IN THE BACKGROUND

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ST WINEFRIDE AND ST BEUNO – PRAY FOR US

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THE SHRINE IN THE SMALL CHAPEL

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LIGHTING CANDLES IN THE CHAPEL

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STATUE OF ST WINEFRIDE

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The healing waters have been said to cause miraculous cures. The legend of St Winefride tells how, in AD 660, Caradoc, the son of a local prince, severed the head of the young Winefride after she spurned his advances. A spring rose from the ground at the spot where her head fell and she was later restored to life by her uncle, Saint Beuno.

The well is known as “the Lourdes of Wales” and is mentioned in an old rhyme as one of the Seven Wonders of Wales. It has been a pilgrimage site since the 7th century. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Winefride%27s_Well]

 

St Winefride’s Well, 

Holywell, Flintshire CH8 7PN, North Wales

http://www.saintwinefrideswell.com/

 

Link to pilgrimage Part 2:

https://isabellarosephotography.net/2016/08/31/pilgrimage-part-2-st-winefrides-holy-well-chapel/

Link to Pilgrimage Part 3:

https://isabellarosephotography.net/2016/08/31/pilgrimage-part-3-st-james-church/

Saint Tysilio’s Church, Llangollen

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And the beautiful stained-glass windows

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This ancient church is dedicated to the sixth century saint, St Tysilio.

Tradition says that there has been a place of worship on this site since then.

 The present church was built in the year 1180 and, at various times, has been repaired and renovated.

The font is said to date from the fourteenth century.

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The oak panelling above the sanctuary also dates from the fourteenth century.

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The glass in the narrow window dates from 1460, the lower figure is James the Greater.

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A beautiful blessing in the information leaflet reads:

“May your visit to this ancient church, hallowed by the prayers of many centuries, remain in your memory.

Into the gracious mercy and protection of God we commit you and yours.

May the Lord bless you and keep you, and give you peace and happiness as you go on your way.”