Ffynnon Leinw

Useful Information

Location: Alyn Fireplaces, A541, Hendre, Mold CH7 5QL.
From the fireplaces shop it 60 m west in the forest.
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: KarstKarst Spring KarstIntermittent Spring
Light: n/a
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Giraldus Cambrensis (1191): The Journey Through Wales
William Camden (1586): Britannia
Thomas Pennant (1778): Tours in Wales, Volume 2. Re-printed by H Humphreys Caernarfon, 1883
Samuel Lewis (1833): Topographical Dictionary of Wales
Address: Ffynnon Leinw, Alyn Fireplaces, A541, Hendre, Mold CH7 5QL.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1188 described by Giraldus Cambrensis.
1586 described by William Camden.
1778 described by Thomas Pennant.
1833 described by Samuel Lewis.
1910 visited by the Royal Commission.
06-NOV-1962 listed as Grade II Listed Building.


Ffynnon Leinw is one of the rare intermittent springs, and has a long reputation for this strange effect. The name Leinw comes from the Welsh word llanw meaning tide, so the name is actually Tide Spring. However, located in Wales, close to the sea, the ebb and flow was interpreted as a connection to the sea and a result of the tides. Also, the mining in the area influenced the water table, pumping out water from the mines lowered the water level and the spring dried out. Today mining has ended and the spring should again flow, but it seems it was forgotten by modern tourism. We are not sure if this is a good or bad thing. However, it makes it a little tricky to find the spring. The best is to start at the fireplaces shop and head west into the forest. As we understand there is no path to the well, but it can be seen from the road and approached over a low stone wall.

There is a spring not far from Ruthlan, in the province of Tegengel, which not only regularly ebbs and flows like the sea, twice in twenty-four hours, but at other times frequently rises and falls both by night and day. Trogus Pompeius says, “that there is a town of the Garamantes, where there is a spring which is hot and cold alternately by day and night.
Giraldus Cambrensis (1191): The Journey Through Wales

In the parish of Kilken, there is a spring, which (as is said) ebb’d and flow’d at set times like the sea.
William Camden (1586): Britannia

But actually it is not even clear if the described spring is actually Ffynnon Leinw. The spring was described by Giraldus Cambrensis (Gerald of Wales) as being not far from Rhuddlan, some 29 km to the north-west. It was widely thought that Ffynnon Leinw was Giraldus’ legendary well, but William Camden was certain that there was no tidal element at Leinw, he guessed ‘tho the general report is that it did so formerly’. The well was again mentioned by Edward Lhuyd at the end of the 17th century but without any detail. The next mention is a little more detailed:

In this parish, on the side of the turnpike road, not far from Kilken hall, is the noted Ffynnon Leinw, or the flowing well; a large oblong well with a double wall round it. This is taken notice of by Camden for its flux and re-flux; but the singularity has ceased since this time, according to the best information I can receive.
Thomas Pennant (1778): Tours in Wales, Volume 2. Re-printed by H Humphreys Caernarfon, 1883

Near Killen Hall, in the vale of Nannerch, is the celebrated Fynnon Leinw, or ‘flowing well’, which Camden describes as flowing and ebbing with the tide; but this peculiarity has long since ceased to distinguish it: it is a copious and limpid spring, and is much resorted to for bathing, for which purpose it has been enclosed, and it is said to possess properties fully equal, if not superior to those of the far-famed spring at Holywell.
Samuel Lewis (1833): Topographical Dictionary of Wales

It seems the spring was known and popular for a long time. It was surrounded by a rectangular wall, which created a 5.5 m by 3 m pool and about 60 cm deep. The pool was used by the locals for bathing and at some point had a reputation for its healing properties. Today it seems to be dry most of the time, especially in late summer. When it is dry it is possible to see a shaft at one end of the pool, which seems to be a natural cave and the original well. In winter, it seems to be full of water. Unfortunately the pool on top of the well shaft makes it impossible to see if this is actually an intermittent spring. To see the effect it is necessary that the spring pool is empty.

We were not able to get accurate information on the current state. If you visit the site, please send us an update.