Lady's Well

Dublin Core


Lady's Well

Description of Well Item Type Metadata

1 Name of well and saint

Our Lady’s Well

2 Townland, County, GPS

Slane, Meath

3 Physical description of well and its surroundings

The well is located “in the Castle Demesne among the banks of the river Boyne. In the 1830s the Ordance Survey letters notes Lady Well, Tobar Muire, about a quarter of a mile north of the Hermitage of Erc” (French 2012: 48).

4 Cure

Cures sore throat, toothache, and sore eyes.

7 Prayer rounds and stations

“Pilgrims usually accessed the grounds by the Gothic Gates. In the 1930s crowds visited the well and the Rosary was said at 3 o’clock by one of the priests of the parish” (French 2012: 49).

8 Stories

“There were many stories recorded by school children in the 1930s in relation to the Lady Well. The water in the well is said to rise up at midnight on the night before the 15 August. The children wrote that previous landowners tried to close the well and prevent pilgrims coming to worship. The well sprang up nearby and when it was closed again it moved for the second time. Another story is that the gates of demesne were closed to prevent entry by pilgrims but the water in the well rose up and flooded the grounds of the castle. Orders were given to open the gates and immediately the water receded. From that time onwards the gates of the demesne were always open on 15 August 15” (French 2012: 48-49).

French records that “a man named Tom Neill visited the well about 1920 when he was almost blind. Having bathed his eyes with water from the well and prayed to the Blessed Virgin, his sight was almost fully restored. A disabled child collecting sticks was supposed to have been cured at the well” (French 2012: 49).

Some of the pilgrims visited the nearby Hermitage of Erc and viewed the Apostle’s Stone which displayed figures of the twelve disciples. Slane prepared for the months before Lady Day and a sports day and fair evolved from the pilgrimage. Thousands of pilgrims descended on the village from all the surrounding area and further afield. The hungry crowds were fed in local houses and the pubs did a great trade. The Lady Well festivities were revived in 2008” (French 2012: 49).

9 Publications

French, Noel. 2012. Meath Holy Wells. Trim: Meath Heritage Centre.