Abbess of Gwytherin.
She was responsible for ‘The Lourdes of Britain’ as the town of Holywell in Flintshire proclaims itself.
This is our Saint’s well. Her uncle St BEUNO built a chapel on the spot where the well was yet to be, and Win was housed nearby on the verge of becoming a nun.
One Sunday Caradoc, son of a local prince, was out hunting and stopped by to ask for water. He was struck by the occupant’s beauty, and tried to seduce her. When that failed he tried to rape her. She was having none of it. She ran off.
He set off in pursuit and when she paused at the chapel he was so enraged he sliced her head off before she could seek sanctuary. At this very moment, Beuno came out of the chapel and cursed Caradoc with such passion the ground opened and swallowed him.
Beuno rushed to the head of his niece and stuck it back on her body, performing the most miraculous piece of artificial respiration and surgery ever. No only did she start breathing but the head meshed leaving no wound — only a very fine circular scar.
Then where there should have been a pool of blood, water gushed from the ground — which became the basis for the well.
So St WINIFRED went on to take her vows. She become a nun and when she died (for the second time) of natural causes, her relics were taken to Shrewsbury. The well which had been built over the spring at Holywell became famous for miraculous cures and pilgrims came from far and wide including many royals.
With the dissolution of the monasteries Win’s relics were sadly scattered. But a lone finger bone was found and divided in two. One part is now at Holywell and the other in a catholic church in Shrewsbury. Holywell is also the place to visit if you want to see the well, which is still going strong to this day.