St Declan's Holy Well

Another feature of the pilgrimage to Ardmore was St Declan's Holy Well. Declan had established a hermitage site quite close to the old monastery along the cliff tops overlooking Ardmore bay. The well dates back to the 5th century and is still a place of religious devotion today. On Pattern day, the 24th July, many devotees visit the well. Upon entering the grounds of the hermitage site the pilgrims make a sign of the cross using water from the well and recite prayers. They may also drink the water from the well as they leave the hermitage.

Early morning sun

Pilgrims crosses scratched at the well

Situated on top of the well house are two carved crucifixion scenes. There were orinally three carvings but the south carving has gone missing. It is believed these delightful carvings are late medieval. I particularly like the north cross carving with the figure of Christ wearing a loin cloth, see below right. An early morning visit is strongly recommended, The well is beautifully situated on the cliff walk at Ardmore, it can attract a lot of visitors during the summer period. Temple Dysert is just twenty metres east of the holy well.

Situated: Very easy. At Ardmore follow directions for the Cliff Hotel. From here follow the trail leading to the Cliff Walk. The well is at the beginning of the walk from here.

Discovery Map 82: X 1975 7734. Last visit Aug 2020.

Longitude: 7° 42' 45" W

Latitude: 51° 56' 53" N

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Photos: Jim Dempsey.

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