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Inis Cealtra - Holy Well Holy Well
 

County

Clare

Coordinates

N 52° 54' 51.0"   W 008° 26' 49.14"

Nearest town

Mountshannon

Grid Ref.

R 69825 84911

Map No.

58

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

44

Date of visit

Monday 20 June 2016

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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Approaching the well from the west.


This holy well is close to the southeast shore of Inis Cealtra, hidden behind some trees.
To be honest the fact that it is hidden is not a great loss, the well was drained and excavated in 1971. Some coins and other small items were found in it, left behind by pilgrims since 1850. When the excavation and researches were over the circular wall around the well was built. The wall has a lintelled narrow passage in the southeast (130°) side. The water of the well is green with algae and looks very murky and thick. Not a pleasant view!
The well was part of the rounds of the pilgrims on the island. At the end of the rounds they had to drink from the well, make an offer and if they were able to see their image reflected into the water then their sins had been forgiven.
In a poem by Charlotte Elizabeth Johnson, a woman from Ballybrittas, it is written that this well flowed at the spot where one of the monks driven away by the Danes kneeled to pray and forgive the invaders before leaving the island for good.


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