Welsh Journals

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The RUTHIN Illustrated Magazine. A MOHTHLY JOUTRHAIi FOR AM< CLASSES, To Inform. To Instruct. To Amuse. Ho. 14. Vol. II. MARCH, 1880. TWO PENCE. HOLY WELL 5 Itf AND ABOUT THE VALE OF CLWYD. BT THE KET. ELIAS OWEN, M.A.. Ffimnog Dyfnoo ok St. Dstvkog's Well. This well is in the parish of Llanrhaiadr in Kinmerch or as it is sometimes called Llanrhaiadr Dyffryn Clwyd; it is to be seen in the wood between the church and the vicarage, 150 yards or so from the church yard. The approach to the well indicates that formerly it was muoh frequented. The small brook that takes its rise therein is spanned over by several old well-built arches and there are remains of buildings both in the immediate neighbourhood of the well and also for some dis¬ tance from it. The Ffynnog Dyfaog issues from an artificed cavern which is formed of dry masonry and rock. The entrance to the well is arched over, and presents an antiquated appear¬ ance. The breadth oi the well is 89 inches; f*-om the highest part of the arch, to the water is 40 inches ; the cavern is abont 8 feet long, and it becomes lower and narrower as it penetrates infca the mountain, until at last it is only 24 inches broad. This is the well proper, but at one time there appears to have been a series of oisterns for bathing purposes. The water issues from the cavern, and then after a level course of about 4 paces, it tumbles over the rock into an open spaca along the sides of which are delapidated walls. From this ruined building the water proceeds in two directions, one branch goes underneath an archway, and another falls into a modern bathing cistern, but both unite a little lower down, having first rushed beneath a couple of ancient arches. From this place to the well are many signs of former buildings. The following description taken from Lewis's Topographical History of Wales will not be uninteresting. Speaking of Llan¬ rhaiadr Church Lewis says :—" Near the church are the remains of an ancient bath, called Ffynnon St. Dyfnog, which was formerly supposed to operate miraculous cures, and was much resorted to by patients, whose votive offerings were partly employed in decorating the east window of the church. The water rising in great force from under the limestone rock, was long to be si remarkably copious spring, but it has sinee been ascertained to be a stream, which rises in the hilly part of the parish, in the township of Priou; the two branches of this stream, affcsr flowing for nearly half a mile sink into the rock, and persne a subterraneous course for two miles, emerging at this spot." In this extraet we are told that a portion of the offerings were expended in deco¬ rating the east window. There is a rather famous east window in the church, of the type known ai a Jesse window because thereon is given a genealogical Table of our Lord, it bears date 1538, but this window is said to have been brought from Basingwerk Abbey at it3 dissolution. and if so was not bought with the offerings of pilgrims to the well. The well is dedicated to St Dyfnog, a saint, who is said to have flourished in the seventh century, he is supposed to have given a name to Devynog church in Breconshire; Llanrhaiadr D.C. church is also dedicated to him. Lloyd says that in his days the water rose it g'.-eat force, at present it does not do so. it ii merely a spring of ordinary strength. It wouU be difficult to prove that it is the stream thai disappears in Prion district, this probably i merely an erroneous conjecture. (To be continued.)