St Ciaran's Well

Holy Well

After visiting the 7th century monastic site at Castlekeeran, just 400 metres from here, I finally stopped by this wonderful ancient well. This well was sacred long before St Ciaran arrived in the area. Although the site has been Christianised, the well and some of the surrounding features are still quite natural looking. Next to the well is the customary rag tree. Much of the bedrock is exposed with water flowing between the weathered rock. These natural features were also sacred to the pagans who worshipped here.

In the bedrock to the southeast of the well is a feature known as the chair. To sit or lie in the chair would bring the person a cure for ailments of the back. To the right of it is a bench where people sit with their feet dangling in the small brook that flows down to the river, this must be for foot problems.

Further east is another rock feature known as the healing well, pictured right, believed to cure stomach disorders, toothache and warts. On the top of the hill towards the north of the well is a christian shrine and another rag tree. This is a well of great antiquity with a wonderful mix of pagan and christian customs, respected and cared for by the local community. Access to the well is via one of two bridges across a river.

Wart or Healing Well

Situated: From Kells take the R163 towards Oldcastle. After 2 kilometres take a right turn. The well is a further 2k down here on your right handside.

Discovery Map 42. N 6872 7709. Last visit Mar 2012.

Longitude: 6° 57' 30" W

Latitude: 53° 44' 20" N

Google Map.

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

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