Lady's Well, Beach

Holy wells of Cork

There are approximately 356 holy wells in County Cork at the last count (Archaeological Inventory of Cork). A few are still the site of pilgrimage, others receive occasional visitors and some are neglected, forgotten or have even disappeared. Some are tiny indents in natural stones, others have imposing wellhouses and some are fern-strewn basins hidden in the undergrowth.

All have their stories to tell and individually and collectively provide a fascinating glimpse into a way of life and set of beliefs that are steadily disappearing. Once every community would have had at least one well which was revered and visited for its healing qualities. Do you know where your local well is? Shouldn’t they be remembered?

It Is my intention to visit as many wells as possible in County Cork and to record what I find: take photos, make a few notes, hopefully listen to some stories. It could take quite a while but what a fascinating journey! I would be delighted to receive any information about wells as the blog progresses so do join me on my adventure.

St Bridget’s Day 2016