St. Augustine's well

Dublin Core


St. Augustine's well

Description of Well Item Type Metadata

1 Name of well and saint

St Augustine’s Well (also called Tobar Agaistín).

2 Townland, County, GPS

Lough Atalia (also called Loch an tSáile) on the eastern edge of County Galway.

3 Physical description of well and its surroundings

St. Augustine’s well was restored in 2000 by the Galway Civic Trust. It sits on the edge of the lake and is hexagonal in shape with a low wall around the edges. Additionally, the well becomes inundated by tides twice a day.

4 Cure

The well is famous among pilgrims for many cures, particularly regarding ailments of the eyes and ears.

5 Pattern day

The main days for devotion at the well are the last Sunday in July or the first Sunday in August. Máire MacNeill suggests the possibility that the well may have been associated with the Lughnasa festival.

6 Offerings

There are often small offerings of coins found in the bottom of the well (see Louise Nugent blog post).

9 Publications

MacNeill, M. 2007. The festival of Lughnasa: a study of the survival of the Celtic festival of the beginning of harvest. Dublin: Folklore of Ireland Council.
Nugent, Louise. “Miracles and Violence: St Augustine’s well in the 17th century,” Pilgrimage in Medieval Ireland (blog), May 26, 2012.
O'DOWD, PEADAR. "HOLY WELLS OF GALWAY CITY." Journal of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society 60 (2008): 136-53.

All photos by Louise Nugent

10 More

“Originally this well was one of a group of three, but the northern and southern wells no longer survive. The Galway Archaeological Inventory states all three wells were dedicated originally to St Augustine but Máire MacNeill refers to the northern and southern wells as being dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and John the Baptist” (Louise Nugent blog post).