The Shrine and Cross Slab

St Brigid's Holy Well

Well and Cross Slab

I was a bit disappointed after traveling up from Dublin to learn that my trip to Inishmurray had been postponed till the next day, but it meant I had a free day in Sligo. I decided to call up to Martin Byrne from to take him up on his offer to show me the Cliffoney cross slab situated at St Brigid's well. Access is a little bit tricky, as the well is located in some fields at the back of a private garden. I would not have found the well without Martin to guide me there. As we walked down through the long lush grass Martin pointed out that we were walking through a ring fort. The vegetation was so long I could not make out the rath. There is a shrine built into a small field wall. On the wall is a plaque with 1959 inscribed on it. There was a yearly pattern held on 1st February, St Brigid's feast day, right up until 1959. That date also marked the pagan festival of Imbolc, celebrating the beginning of spring. The well (pictured below) is located just over the wall next to the shrine, please be careful as the stones on the wall are very loose. In front of the shrine is the beautifully inscribed cross slab, possibly dating to the 8th century. The top panel bears a swastika, an ancient sun symbol.

Cross Slab

Holy Well

Situated: Tricky. About 80 metres south of Cliffoney cross roads. There is a bungalow very close to the road with a wrought iron side gate. The well is located about 120 metres behind the bungalow heading west.

Discovery Map 16: G 7024 5366. Last visit June 2012.

Longitude: 8° 27' 31" W

Latitude: 54° 25' 50" N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

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