Trinity Well

Dublin Core


Trinity Well

Description of Well Item Type Metadata

1 Name of well and saint

Trinity Well, Termonfeckin

2 Townland, County, GPS

Termonfeckin, County Louth

3 Physical description of well and its surroundings

Set in a steep slope and surrounded by tall trees, the Trinity Well has a well-house constructed of stone and red brick. On the "gable" of the well-house lies a stone cross. THe water itself is lined by vegetation, and, in the autumn, a plant called a Himalayan Balsam plant springs up. The seed pods explode when touched, so the plants are also called "Jumping Jack" (Connolly and Moroney, 1998). The water is sparkling, clear, and cold (The Schools Collection).

4 Cure

There are many stories of miraculous cures including (all are from the Schools Collection):

A blind girl went to the well three times, and, coming home the third time, said to her mother, "I can see the daisies."
A crippled individual was brought to the well, and people made stations from him. On Trinity-Eve, he walked home.
A woman whose head was permanently turned to one side applied the water to her neck and was cured.

5 Pattern day

The Pattern Day used to be held on Trinity Sunday (around the end of May/beginning of June), until 1933. People used to dress the well with arches and flowers. By walking under the arches and taking three sips of the water from a mug, people blessed themselves.

6 Offerings

Cloth was tied to nearby trees, and as it broke down, the person was cured (The Schools Collection).

7 Prayer rounds and stations

According to The Schools Collection, "It was customary to pay nine visits to the well, to say... seven Our Fathers and seven Hail Marys while kneeling stone to stone. Then, a little piece of cloth was left on a twig nearby and it is said that as the cloth withered, the person [associated] with the cloth was cured." Three drinks, three visits, or drinks or visits in multiples of three are common and associated with miracles. On Trinity-Eve, a few locals used to clean out the well, wash it, and decorate it with flowers (it is unclear if this is practiced anymore).

8 Stories

It is said that St. Patrick baptized children at the well, as well as the "blessed Oliver Plunkett." It is also said that a man went to the well on Trinity-Eve at midnight for water, but instead his bucket filled with wine. This resulted in people visiting the well at midnight on Trinity-Eve for the first of the waters, but this custom has since died out (The Schools Collection).

9 Publications

The Schools Collection, Volume 0675, Page 119-123:
Database of Irish Excavation Reports, Mary G. O'Donnell (2001):
"Stone and Tree Shletering Water: An Exploration of Sacred and Secular Wells in County Louth" by Susan Connolly and Anne-Marie Moroney (1998)

10 More

It is noted in the Trinity Well excavation report that the site has, "no archaeological significance" (O'Donnell, 2001). It is also noted that people used to bottle and take water back home on Trinity Sunday (The Schools Collection).