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St. Sylvester's Holy Well
 

County

Dublin

Coordinates

N 53° 27' 04.1"   W 006° 09' 18.2"

Nearest town

Malahide

Grid Ref.

O 22619 46124

Map No.

50

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

20

Date of visit

Tuesday 27 May 2014

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The strange and nice holy well with the awful modern building behind it.
Each opening measures 68 centimetres of width and 90 centimetres of height.


In the old part of Malahide, at the end of Old Street, there's this strange holy well, a round hut with a conical roof. It has five round-headed openings protected with steel mesh. One of them is padlocked, the other four are fixed. Unfortunately the magic of the hut is ruined by the awful presence of a modern building.
St. Sylvester, from whom the well got its name, is celebrated on December 31st, but a pattern was observed at this well on August 15th, Our Lady's Day.
This well, which allegedly exists since 430 AD, was one of the sources of water for the people of Malahide in the past centuries, but when a water mains was installed in the town in 1929, the well was covered.
The water from this well was also known for its properties and its power to cure a certain number of diseases.
At the well baptisms took place as well, and in order to keep the water pure and not contaminated by aquatic insects an eel was put into the well.
Not far from the well a more recent church has been built and dedicated to the same saint.


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