Henllan lies 2 miles from the town of Denbigh in the county of Denbighshire, North Wales. The village is noted for both the village pub, the Llindir Inn, and St Sadwrn's Church with its detached Bell Tower.
The Llindir Inn is a 13th century thatched building, and is believed to be both one of the oldest pubs in Wales and also one of Wales' most haunted. The book The Old Villages of Denbighshire and Flintshire, records that the ghost of 'an attractive woman in white' has made many appearances. The lady was believed to have been married to a seafarer, and while he was away, she found herself a lover. One winter night her husband took unexpected shore leave, and caught them both 'in flagrante'. He murdered his wife, and from that moment on, a number of people claim to have seen her.
A visitor to Henllan could be forgiven for mistaking the bell tower of St Sadwrn's Church for a medieval Norman castle, what with the crenellated battlements and the fact that the tower is separated from the body of the church by some 50 yards.
The tower's position on the hill however is more to do with the desire for the bells to be heard far and wide rather than for its defensive qualities. A number of interesting carved stone headstops are to be found built into the church walls and a medieval font is located in the church yard. Saint Sadwrn's church forms part of the Benefice of Henllan, which includes the parishes of Henllan, Bylchau and Gwytherin.
Today the village of Henllan is a rural backwater and we have to go back in time some 400 years for hints of gossip and scandal and the roots of legends.
There lived in the 16th Century in the hamlet of Berain, two miles north of Henllan, a lady who became known as Mam Cymru ("mother of Wales").
Catherine of Berain, sometimes called Katheryn of Berain, or Katheryn Tudor was grand-daughter of an illegitimate son of Henry V11 by a Breton woman he loved while in exile. Catherine's first husband was John Salusbury of Lleweni. Salusbury died and at his funeral Catherine was escorted by Sir Richard Clough. Also at the funeral was Maurice Wynne of Gwydir who proposed to Catherine on leaving the churchyard. "I am sorry" she said "but Sir Richard proposed on the way into church and I accepted him" But if I survive him I will remember you" She did survive Clough and true to her word took Maurice Wynne as her third husband.
She outlived Wynne and then took Edward Thelwall as her fourth husband. She died in 1591 and was buried in Llanyffyd. Legends say she had 6 husbands in all and as she grew tired of them killed them by pouring molten lead into their ears as they slept.
Whatever the truth of the stories it is a fact that by the time of her death she had accumulated large estates and a considerable fortune.