NORTH WALES HOLDS AN ABUNDANCE OF MYSTERIES, ANCIENT MOUNDS, WELLS, HAUNTINGS AND UFO'S TO NAME BUT A FEW. UPIA HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN RESEARCH OF MANY ANOMOLIES, MYTHS, AND REPORTS THROUGHOUT OUR EXISTENCE. MUCH OF THE INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE HAS BEEN GLEANED FROM BOOKS CONCERNING THE LANDS MYSTERIES ALTHOUGH WHERE APPLICABLE UPIA'S OWN ACCOUNTS APPEAR. WE HAVE ALSO ATTEMPTED TO ADD A ORDINANCE SURVEY GRID REFERNCE TO PLACES OF INTEREST AVAILBLE TO VISIT:
FAIRY MOUND, FAIRY ROAD, WREXHAM, NORTH WALES. UPIA CASE REF LAP/01:
Work is currently in operation concerning the history of this ancient burial mound and an adjacent premises, with possible none interactive, locational haunting phenomena. All information concerning this area, will be greatly appreiciated.
WHITEHOUSE FARM, BUCKLEY, CLWYD, NORTH WALES. UPIA REF DKS/0003:
In May 2000 UPIA founder Dave Sadler was contacted by a family claiming to be expereincing numerous Poltergeist effects at their home in Buckley. Included in the reported incidents were tales of a Milk man seen upstairs, numerous occurences of behavioral problems related to the incidents and alledged Pygmy type charecters being witnessed in the grounds. Photographic evidence submitted for analysis via Manchesters Association of Paranormal Investigation and Research proved that some form of unknown phenomena was taking place at the farm. research and investigation ceased in 2001 when the family were involved in a high profile news incident. UPIA deemed this case closed, although data has continued to be processed. This location stands on WATTS DYKE. and is near to several other renowned haunted locations including Plas Teg Hall.
UPIA suffered ill effects as the family became well known, especially due to a local group sold information, photographic, video footage and taped interviews to the press,making a significant sum of money in the process. The Organisation involved were invited to associate and assist the UPIA within this case.
ST WINIFRIDS WELL, HOLYWELL, CLWYD: OS 184764:
Holywell (Treffynnon) is "the town of the Holy Well." There is good reason to believe that at the time of the poet of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, it may have been also referred to as Holy Head (Sir Gawain may have stayed at Basingwerk Abbey at the bottom of the Greenfield Valley before he found his way across the Dee to the Wirral Peninsular; that there is another town called Holyhead, far to the west has confused generations of scholars and critics unfamiliar with the local history). The Greenfield Valley is important in Welsh industrial history and its Heritage Trail is well worth a visit, as are the remains of Basingwerk Abbey, founded in ll3l as a Savignac Monastery but mostly demolished as a Cistercian House at the Reformation with its parts scattered throughout the area to be relocated in many local churches. But it is to the holy well at the upper end of the Valley, just before the steep climb up the town itself, that we make our pilgrimage. The well itself, formed from a mountain spring, is housed inside the shrine of St. Winifrid (Gwenffrwd or Gwenfrewi) regarded as the finest surviving example of a medieval holy well in Britain. The legend of St. Winifrid is responsible for the erection of the present shrine on a site chosen originally chosen by St. Beuno for a chapel. When a local chieftain named Caradoc attempted to rape Beuno's niece Gwenffrwd, she ran to the chapel for sanctuary but though she failed to reach the doors, her refusal to submit to her pursuer caused him to cut off her head in his rage. The head rolled down the hillside, a spring miraculously appearing where it came to rest in a deep hollow. Beuno reattached Gwenffrwd's head, and she lived to become an abbess and later, a saint. Would-be rapist Prince Caradoc, meanwhile, fell dead under the saint's curse. The well formed from the spring then became a place of pilgrimage visited by, among others, Richard I, to pray for his Crusade; Henry V (both before and after his famous victory at Agincourt), who came on foot from Shrewsbury; and King James II, who came here to pray for a son (a prayer which was granted by the birth of the Old Pretender). It is bitterly ironic that the success of his prayer led to James's deposition from the throne, for the British Constitution would not allow a Catholic heir. In the twelfth Century, the religious house at Shrewsbury (where she had spent the remainder of her days as abbess) acquired Winifred's relics, and her shrine there became a popular place of pilgrimage, but at The Dissolution, her bones were scattered by the agents of Henry VIII (The one finger that survived was then taken to Powys Castle and from thence to Rome, only returning to Britain in l852). In the early l5th Century, the Pope granted the right to sell special indulgences to all pilgrims visiting Holywell to the monks at Basingwerk, who took charge of the well up until the Reformation. About l490, Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and mother of Henry VII had a new two-storied chapel built over the star-shaped well, which is covered by an ornate vault and surrounded by a processional passage. A long bathing pool fed by the spring lies outside, in the courtyard. Just below the surface of the water you can see the stone of St. Beuno upon which he taught Winifred or upon which he bade farewell to her. In the valley below the well are a number of stones said to be stained with Winifred's blood or covered with a fragrant red moss miraculously renewed each year. St. Winifred's Well is the only shrine in Britain that has an unbroken tradition of pilgrimage since the early Medieval period. Because the well was regarded as medicinal as much as religious, the chapel escaped the merciless destruction of the Reformation itself. On Nov 3, l629, St. Winifred's Day, over fifteen hundred people gathered at the chapel, and it has continued to be an important place of pilgrimage for Roman Catholics ever since, despite many attempts to stop the practice, including the shutting down of many of the town's hotels and hostels by Chester justices in l637. At that time, the walls of the chapel were also whitewashed and the safety railings around the well removed (more than one historian has queried -- "so that pilgrims might accidentally drown?") Only two years after King James's visit in l686, the holy well and the chapel in which it was housed were ransacked by supporters of the ardent Protestant William III. It was once again restored, and in l774 was visited by the well-known literary critic Dr. Samuel Johnson on his journey around North Wales. The learned, but prudish doctor remarked on the indecency of a woman bathing there, yet the popularity of the shrine continued to attract pilgrims, over one thousand visiting during the first year of a new hospice opened in the l880's. During the last one hundred years, the shrine has received a new lease of life after centuries of Protestantism (and therefore neglect) mainly from visits by Irish immigrants residing in Liverpool (only an hour's road journey distant). Since World War II, the automobile and the motor coach (and up until the early 60's the railroad) have brought many more pilgrims (mainly from Liverpool and Manchester, but some from all parts of Britain and the Continent) to partake of the healing waters and to undergo the ritual of passing three times through the inner well. This custom may date from a Celtic practice of triple immersion or it may result from a prayer written by a l2th Century prior of Shrewsbury who cautioned that more than one immersion may be necessary for a cure. The author once met a legless man who was on the side of the road begging a ride to the well to be cured; the poor fellow had ultimate faith in his quest. For those inclined to believe in such, the waters at Holywell contain miraculous healing powers. For many centuries, these waters came from an unfailing spring, gushing mightily from the earth, producing three thousand gallons a minute at a constant temperature of 50 degrees. Because of extensive mining operations, however, on nearby Halkyn Mountain in the first quarter of this century, the author's great uncle, a Holywell surveyor and civil engineer (whose first name was Caradoc, incidentally), warned the Holywell Town Council that the waters feeding the spring were likely to be diverted and that the well would dry up. This is what consequently happened, so that today's pilgrims see a bubbling spring fed from the town's municipal water supply forced through an artfully concealed pipe at the base of the well. Despite the source of today's holy well, the sanctity of St. Winifred's remains, and though it is not housed in an elegant or great cathedral.
THE DRAGON OF DENBIGH CASTLE, CLWYD, OS 052657:
A Dragon once terrorized the town of Denbigh, Clwyd. It had taken over the ruined castle and was in the habit of darting out to attack and devour cattle and people.
The inhabitants of the town recruited the help of a local man called Sion Bodiau (Sir John of the Thumbs). This strange fellow had two thumbs on each hand, and so in the estimation of ordinary five fingered folk he surly possessed the power to rid them of the dragon. Sir John was urged to approach the castle and tempt the dragon out. He had little choice as he rode out towards it in full armour, lance at the ready. Behind him was a population that would have murdered him had he refused. Ahead was a fire-breathing dragon. Looking back at the faces of the women from the town he decided to take his chances with the dragon. This obliged by charging out of the castle and loomed down on Sion Bodiau. But then the dragon halted short and stared down at the trembling hands, puzzling over the number of digits on display. The grateful knight saw his opportunity and plunged his lance into the dragon’s heart. He then drew his sword and chopped of the dragon’s head. Sion was a hero, the people running through the town shouting `Dim Bych, Dim Bych` in celebration. And to this day even though the town is called Denbigh in English, that name is a corruption of the Welsh Dinbych, pronounced `Dim bych locally (`no more dragon`).
CONWAY CASTLE, CONWY, GWYNEDD, NORTH WALES:
Stand on Telford`s suspension bridge at Conwy, look down into the river, and you will see how treacherous it can be. Conwy after all, is a town under a curse.It is said that during an age long ago, before the building of Conwy Castle, a group of fishermen were casting their nets in the river, when they saw a remarkable sight. There in the net was was a creature with long black hair and a fishlike tail. The fishermen had heard of such creatures and great danger was associated with them. They then saw the look of fear in her eyes, and decided there was no danger. They hauled her into the boat, and took her into the town. Many people came to see her, as she begged and begged to be returned to the sea, but the men decided they were going to keep her. But keeping her out of water was to her, a long lingering death. As she died she cursed the people of Conwy, and vowed that there would be many drownings in the river, diseases and disasters in the town. No one knows what became of the fishermen, but in 1806 the ferry from the east bank of the river capsized drowning everyone. Of course the mermaids curse was blamed. On the spot where the mermaid died the old town hall was built, it burned down in 1966. It was then developed into a library and civic centre but within two months had burned down again, and the mermaids laughter was said to be heard. Rebuilding was undertaken again, and so far the building seems unaffected by the curse.
BEDDGELERT AND THE GOAT INN, SNOWDONIA, NORTH WALES:
This story is taken directly from the villages gravestone of Gelert;
In the 13th century Llywelyn prince of North Wales, who had a palace in the area went hunting without taking Gelert "The Faithful Hound", who was unaccountably absent. On Llywelyn`s return the truant, stained and smeared with blood joyfully sprang to meet his master. The prince, alarmed hastened to find his son, and saw the infants cot empty, the bedclothes and floor covered with blood. The frantic father plunged his sword into the hounds side, thinking it had killed his heir. The dogs dying yell was answered by a childs cry. Llywelyn searched and discovered his boy unharmed, but nearby lay the body of a mighty wolf which Gelert had slain. The prince filled with remorse is said never to have smiled again. He buried Gelert here.
Truth; The truth is that this story was made up by local traders long ago in an attempt to lure Snowdon`s visitors to their village. It seems the place name actually refers to Gelert, a sixth century saint from the area. But who of you out there, can visit the grave without sighing "Poor Gelert", whether they believe the dog lies beneath the stones or not.
Here the story twists and is added to. In the 1700`s a group of villagers got together and created the story of the ghostly dog, to bring visitors to the village. The ring leader was a David Pritchard, landlord of the Goat Inn. The village prospered and David Pritchard made his fortune. But for all his wealth, in 1821 he had a heart attack, and died without leaving a will. After his death the landlord became a legend in his own right. Some weeks after the burial, the Goat Inn was the scene of peculiar goings on. Footsteps were heard on the stairs, strange noises in the bedrooms, and in the bar the sounds of the fire being raked. Nothing was seen, and it was decided the best action was to ignore it. But instead of the noises dying away, they grew louder and more often, and servants started seeing the ghost of David Pritchard himself. At one point he was seen walking around the village itself. The villagers were petrified, Doors and windows were bolted, charms were carried to bed. An old farmer called Huw, once a good friend of the landlord decided to see if he could find out why the spirit was wandering the village, so stayed out one night without charms of any kind. Sure enough, as he was standing on the bridge the ghost appeared. Huw shivered but was brave enough to call out to his old friend. With a trembling voice Huw asked his master why his spirit was so disturbed. The ghost answered. "My dear Huw, there can be no rest until a certain task is carried out. You are to go to the Inn and look under the hearthstone in the bar, There you will find a pouch containing one hundred gold guineas which you are to give to my wife". Huw said he understood, and with that the ghost faded away. The coins were found, and the ghost was not seen again. The Inn still stands in the village of Beddgelert, and perhaps as you buy a drink, and part with your money, you might hear the ghostly chuckle of David Pritchard.