We have very little source material to draw on for the story of Ffynnon y Gwaenydd which appears to lie beside the Afon Wen as it flows through Cwilog near Pwllheli in Gwynedd. Its story was recorded by Myrddin Fardd in his 1908 book Llên Gwerin Sir Gaernarfon – Folklore of Caernarfonshire.
When Fardd was writing at the beginning of the last century he was recording a tradition at this site that was already almost forgotten. He wrote
The well is to be found at a spot called Cae’r Morfa on a farm known by the name Hen Inn on the western boundary of the parish of Llanystumdwy. Its water was always described as virtuous and miraculous and if the tradition is true many lame people left it having been healed leaving sticks and crutches hanging on the branches of the trees growing around the spot. Initials of hundreds of people who had visited the well were carved there. According to the ritual every visitor threw a small pin into the well as a token of thanksgiving, so that the bottom of the well was covered with small pins.
The location we are led to was identified as being the most likely location from Fardd’s description by researchers for CADW (2). A spring marked on the early OS maps, close to where the Hen Inn farm was, although no trace of the name Cae’r Morfa seems to exist in the area, even on the earlier tithe maps.
This spring now is a muddy depression, between two large stones among the trees close to the bank of the Afon Wen on the left-hand side of the road south from Chwilog to towards the A497 Pwllheli Road.
(1) Fardd M (John Jones), 1908, Llên Gwerin Sir Gaernarfon, Caernarfon.
(2) Parry, I., Smith, G., and Hopewell, D., 2011, Cadw Scheduling Enhancement: Holy Wells. Gwynedd Archaeological Trust
Ffynnon y Gwaenydd SH43523815