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St. Attracta's Holy Well
 

County

Sligo

Coordinates

N 53° 56' 16.8"   W 008° 30' 30.3"

Nearest town

Ballaghaderreen

Grid Ref.

M 66662 98850

Map No.

32

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

82

Date of visit

Thursday 5 June 2014

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The stone enclosure of the well.


We have been a bit unlucky this year with the monuments or sites we wanted to see. This holy well has been heavily damaged during a road accident that cost the life of a 22 years old man at the end of July 2013.
This story has been told me by a woman who lives nearby when I asked her what happened to the well. The young man was driving his tractor hauling turf towards home when he fell from the tractor and was killed by the trailer. The tractor and the trailer then crashed into the well and partially destroyed it.
This well is dedicated to St. Attracta's who was the daughter of Talan, a local chieftain. She converted to Christianity following the teaching of St. Patrick. According to the legend she built a nunnery where seven roads met so that she was able to exercise her hospitality in a wide field. This place is Killaraghta, 12 km east from the well.
The well is enclosed into a round stone wall, on its northwest (330°) side there were some five slabs, one of them decorated with a nice scene of the crucifixion. Either side of the crucifixion there were slabs with symbols of the passion. One of them had the date 1668 and the latters IG carved on it.
The accident involved the outer side of the well, the crucifixion and the slab on its right have been damaged. They have been taken to a safe place while waiting for the enclosure to be re-built, but this could happen in a not near future.
There were 13 cursing stones cemented on the top of the wall, but now only 5 of them are still in place.
The water taken from the hollow of the large stone inside the enclosure is said to cure warts and rickets.


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