Wednesday, 20 June 2012

From Winefride to David

Lovely programme on the Beeb this evening - "Britain's Lost Routes", with Griff Rhys Jones. I caught part of an earlier episode, crossing Scotland on the drovers' road, and this one was even better. It followed the ancient pilgrims' route across Wales from the north-east to St David's in the southwest.
A climb up from the old port of Greenfield brings you to Holywell, where I visited in 2007. It's the only shrine in Britain (I think) continuously visited through from the Middle Ages. The freezing waters of St Winefride's Well bubble up in a beautiful two storey medieval shrine (left) marking where her head miraculously rejoined the rest of her body after an attempted murder... 
The route then heads over the Clwydian Range to Ruthin, and onwards along Lake Bala and over a stunning pass, Bwlch y Groes (Pass of the Cross) to the Dovey valley and Aberystwyth. Down the coast then to where the various pilgrim routes converged at Nevern, and on to the destination - St David's. Two pilgrimages there was worth one to Rome.
I love my homeland Wales, the hills, lakes, castles, churches, cliffs, sea, the green and the grey. And that includes the South, too, where I live - not that I'm biased, of course...  
The programme is excellent - beautiful photography, interesting group of "pilgrims" and Griff in his, I think, more mellow later style. Great stuff. Fr M approves. You can catch it here on iPlayer.

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