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St. Brendan's Holy Well
 

County

Kerry

Coordinates

N 51° 54' 36.48"   W 010° 23' 55.44"

Nearest town

Portmagee

Grid Ref.

V 34971 75830

Map No.

83

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

19

Date of visit

Wednesday 15 June 2016

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The well with its small altar and the curved walls on either side. A crude cross has been cut out of a stone slab.


This site is located next to the wonderful cliffs on the northwest side of Valentia Island in a boggy land.
The well is just a small pond of brown water, but a small altar with two semi-circular walls has been erected above it on the west (280°) side of the pond. Many offerings have been left here by visitors. A crude cross carved out of a stone slab carries the scratched mark of a cross renewed by pilgrims during their rounds here.
A local tradition has it that at the beginning of the 6th century St. Brendan had a vision of a land yet to be visisted by the Christianity, so he left from Dingle and sailed to this island, then he climbed the cliffs up to the plain where he found two persons who were sick. He explained them the word of God and baptised them at the well and anointed them just in time before they died. These two men were the first two pagans converted to Christianity in Ireland.
To the east of this well there are three very old stone crosses.


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