Calls for Flintshire statue of St Winefride

Reporter:

Matt Jones

A WORLD-renowned religious figure could help bring visitors to a historic Flintshire town.

Ambitious plans are under way to put up a statue of St Winefride in Holywell as the second phase of a £150,000 conservation project draws to a close at the historic well which is considered the perfect example of medieval architecture in Wales.

It is hoped a statue in the Tower Gardens area of Holywell would bring pilgrims visiting the well into the town.

Town Mayor Peter Curtis said: “I think it would be a good idea. It would be a nice feature within the town. There needs to be a lot of dialogue.

“St Winefride is extremely important to Holywell. We often hear that St Winefride’s is the Lourdes of Wales but it is the other way around, St Winefride’s was there before Lourdes.

“A statue would improve the links between the town and the well. Pilgrims visiting the well would also come to the town to see the statue.”

But Cllr Curtis said the plans are at an early stage and there would need to be dialogue between the church and Flintshire Council before any decision is made.

The plans will be discussed by community leaders at a meeting of Holywell Town Council meeting tonight (Tuesday).

Other towns with statues of local figures of importance include a statue of Owain Glyndwr, the first Prince of Wales, in Corwen; novelist Daniel Owen in Mold; and a memorial to Tom Pryce in Ruthin, the only Welsh driver to have won a Formula One race.

Holywell town councillor John Griffiths said he would support the plan and said the statue could provide a focal point for the town.

He said: “There are a number of towns with statues of local people. Holywell Town Centre Partnership has, for some time, been looking for what would be a focal point for the town.

“We are looking to put it in the area of Tower Gardens but we haven’t decided the best site. We do not want to interfere with the market. We hold events there and we don’t want to interfere with that. Holywell is known for St Winefride.”

Other plans under discussion by Holywell Town Centre Partnership include a Hollywood-style boulevard of stars and a Holywell sign.

See full story in the Leader

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