Saint Patrick’s Well, Clonmel, Ireland

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Saint Patrick’s Well
Clonmel, Ireland
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Saint Patrick’s well in Clonmel is one of the largest – if not the largest of all holy wells in all of Ireland. It is situated at the bottom of a long set of winding steps, shaded by a few trees in a small glen. As you approach it, the waters from the well flow into a large and shallow pond with an ancient Irish stone cross set upon a small island in the middle. It is thought that this cross dates to the fifth century. For such a large holy well and surrounding site, it is amazing just how little is actually known about this area, but it is thought that Saint Patrick passed through here and may have used this place to bathe or to baptize.

The well itself is set within a stone enclosure and it has a small gate for access (sadly locked when I visited). The waters quite literally bubble up through the limestone beneath into a gravel bottomed pool. It fizzes with life, and overflows through two stone culverts into a ‘Y’ shaped channel before flowing out into the large pond with the cross in the centre. At the head of the well is a simple, but very nice plaque of Saint Patrick.

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