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Site 7

Derwen

Ffynnon Sarah: St Saeran’s Holy Well

Directions

From Ruthin, it is possible to take the B5105 road towards Cerrigydrudion. At Clawdd Newydd fork left onto the minor road (the Pilgrim Track) towards Melin-y-Wig. Pass the first left turn to Derwen and drive on about half a mile. The well is on the right, by a dip in the road and the signed track to Braich farm. Look for a layby near a low stone wall with a gate and stone plaque inscribed Ffynnon Sarah. The well is then accessible via a paved flat path.

Now called Ffynnon Sarah but originally dedicated to St. Saeran of Llanynys, this remote and atmospheric holy well stands by the ancient pilgrim trackway above Derwen. After long neglect, it was sensitively restored by the Rector of Derwen in 1972 - 3. The spring bubbles into a tree-shaded stone bath, overflowing into the little Nant Mynian brook. It was believed to heal not only rheumatism but also cancer, and sufferers dropped in ‘gifts’ of pins before descending the three steps to bathe in the well-tank. Those cured here left their sticks and crutches as thanks-offerings in a nearby cottage, now vanished. Cure-seekers came here well into the Victorian period, and may come still - but modern visitors are warned ‘This water is not suitable for drinking’.

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Ffynnon Sarah, St. Saeran's Holy Well