St Patrick's chair, Rag tree and Bullaun/Holy Well

St Patrick's chair is situated on a rocky outcrop in the middle of the People's Millennium Forest. It was originally known as the Favour Royal Forest as it was granted, as a favour, to the Treasurer of Ireland, Sir Thomas Ridgeway, 1st Earl of Londonderry, in 1611 by King James I. This is the most magical place I have visited since my trip to St Berrihert's holy well in County Tipperary. The chair is a partly-artificial boulder resting on a few other boulders, perched high on a ridge. Altadaven means "The Daemons Cliff" over which St Patrick is reputed to have driven devils. A short series of steps, cut in the rock, lead down the ridge passed two rag trees, to St Patrick's holy well. The well is a bullaun cut into a large flat stone jutting out for the cliff edge. It was also known as St Brigid's well, who bears the same name as the pagan goddess Brigid. It is believed the site had some significance before the arrival of Christianity to Ireland and may have been a druidic centre. The ancient harvest festival Lughnasa, named after the god Lugh, was celebrated here until recent times. Whatever you beliefs maybe, I left this enchanting location feeling I had visited somewhere really special and I am really looking forward to a return visit.

Rag Trees

The chair from below

St Patrick's Well, a bullaun cut in the rock. A smaller bullaun or cup mark can be seen in the foreground

Situated: Driving along the R186 from Monaghan to Clogher take the first right immediately across the border. Go through a crossroads and then take the right split in the road. Stop at the Altadaven Car-Park. Walk along the trail into the woods and then take a smaller trail on your right, walk along the trail to the boulders.

Google Map.

Discov Map 18, 28A: H 5970 4955. Last visit Aug 2019.

Longitude: 7° 4' 51" W

Latitude: 54° 23' 27" N

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

The Holy Well

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