St. Sechnaill's Well

Dublin Core


St. Sechnaill's Well

Description of Well Item Type Metadata

1 Name of well and saint

St Sechnaill’s Well

2 Townland, County, GPS

Grangend, Meath

3 Physical description of well and its surroundings

“In the 1830s there was access to the well from the Ratoath Road by a parkway, although the well is nearer the Trevet Road. This path had become disused by 1900. In the 1980s Oliver Coogan described as down in the fields off the Bog Road and almost obscured by bushes and grass. The masonry and brickwork was still visible but the well itself had almost gone dry. Nearby is the source of the Broadmeadow River. In the 1930s the well was described as being about a quarter of a mile north of the village in a field known locally as ‘Boylan’s Garden.’ A whitethorn bush grew at the edge of the well” (French 2012: 63).

4 Cure

“The water was said to have the cure of swellings of any part of the body. A paste could be made of the water from the well and clay from an adjacent stream and then applied to the affected part for nine days. The water if used for domestic purposes will not boil” (French 2012: 63).

5 Pattern day

“A pilgrimage was made to the well on Sunday following the saint’s feast day of 27 November. By the 1930s the pilgrimage had faded out but people still visited the well over nine consecutive days and day a Pater, Ave and Gloria each time. No offerings were made at the well” (French 2012: 64).

8 Stories

“St Sechnaill was said to be a nephew of St Patrick and the church and town are named in his honour. St Sechnaill composed a praise poem dedicated to St Patrick and was said to have been the first bishop who died in Ireland. St Patrick and St Sechnaill were on their way to Trevet and paused to drink at this pool. St Sechnaill blessed the pool” (French 2012: 63).

“In 1740 Isaac Butler noted the well dedicated to St Sechnaill and said the well was said to be purgative containing Sulphur. At that time the well was covered by a number of large trees. In 1836 O’Donovan noted the well, Tobar Naomh Seachnaill, where stations had been performed formerly. The custom was revived and by the 1920s large numbers were attending on the saint’s feast day in November” (French 2012: 63).

9 Publications

“Ballinakill was the last home of the Kindelans, the O Ciondealbháin, former kings of Laoghire and patrons of St Ultan’s monastery at Ardbraccan. It is natural that they should have dedicated the well at Rathcore to the same patron” (French 2012: 62).