St. Anne's Well

Dublin Core


St. Anne's Well

Description of Well Item Type Metadata

1 Name of well and saint

St Anne’s Well

2 Townland, County, GPS

Randalstown, Meath

3 Physical description of well and its surroundings

The well is “three miles north of Navan, near the tailing pond of Tara Mines. The well is located just outside the fence protecting the tailing pond. The well is located seventy-five metres southwest of the remains of St Anne’s Chapel. The well and the chapel were excavated in 1975-6 prior to the construction of the tailing pond. St Anne’s Well is a natural spring with the stone steps leading down to it. When it was examined by the archaeologists during the dig at Randalstown three rags hung from a blackthorn bush beside it and their condition indicated that they had been there for some time…In the 1930s the well was described as being situated beside Yellow River in Everand’s land, about 3 fields from Randlestown House” (French 2012: 51-52).

4 Cure

“In local folk tradition the water from this well was used as a cure for toothache, headache, and sore eyes. The well also had the cure for many diseases such as ... Ringworm, and Thrush” (French 2012: 52).

8 Stories

“At the chapel an imported Roman fibula of the first century AD was uncovered and was imported sub-Roman pottery dating to between fifth and eighth century AD” (French 2012: 52).

“Outside the door of the chapel there was a stone on which the print of two knees can be seen. It is said that it was here St Anne stopped to pray. The well and chapel were located within a large enclosure, possibly an Iron Age settlement. The presence of the first century Roman fibula and the proximity of the chapel suggest the existence of pre-Christian activity on the site. It was been suggested that St Anne’s Well was originally the centre of a pagan cult, perhaps associated with Anu, the mother of the Irish gods” (French 2012: 52).

“There was supposed to have been a tunnel between the chapel and Randalstown House. In 1986 a souterrain was uncovered in the townland. A well, known as the Meara Well, was also investigated by archaeologists at that time. This well was a stone-built structure possibly of late medieval date with a modern facing of concrete” (French 2012: 52).

9 Publications

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