St Patrick's Well (Fermanagh)

Dublin Core


St Patrick's Well (Fermanagh)


Janet Cassidy

Description of Well Item Type Metadata

1 Name of well and saint

Dabhach Phádraig, St. Patrick’s Well

2 Townland, County, GPS

Cavancarragh, (near Belcoo), Cleenish Parish, Co. Fermanagh

3 Physical description of well and its surroundings

The well is a spring-fed oval-shaped pool approximately forty feet by twenty feet and about eight to ten inches deep located in a hollow about 8 feet below the surface of the road. The water runs off into two streams which flow in two different directions.

4 Cure

The well is said to cure nervous disorders

5 Pattern day

People may make the stations at the well anytime they wish, but they are usually done between the last Sunday of July and August 15.

6 Offerings

People leave clooties, photos, holy cards, medals, rosaries or personal items hung or tied to a pair of ash trees growing next to the well. The two trees probably sprang from the roots of an ancient tree which was cut down in 1835.

7 Prayer rounds and stations

Pilgrims begin with an Act of Contrition, say the rosary while circling the well, and various prayers at the other stations. The stations include the well itself, the nearby ruins of a medieval church (possibly 12th century?) and several bullaun stones.

8 Stories

There is supposed to be a white trout or sea trout (Salmo trutta) in the well. Seeing it is a sign that your prayer will be answered. Several local people claim to have seen it and been cured of various maladies.

9 Publications

O’Dolan, Mairéad, Domhnall Ó Cobhthaigh, and John J.Ó Ríordáin. Holywell Revisited. The Print Factory, 2000.
O’Dolan, Mairéad. “Dabhach Phádraig: St. Patrick’s Holy Well, Belcoo, County Fermanagh.” Clogher Record vol. 18, no. 1, 2003, pp. 103-116.

10 More

St. Patrick supposedly visited the site and blessed the well to Christian use. One of the bullaun stones is said to have the prints of St. Patrick's horse or donkey on it.
The well is located at a place "where three streams meet" (considered a place of special sacred power) and on the border between two townlands, Cavancarragh and Rushin.
The O'Dolan family who live in the nearby townland of Rushin, have been herenaghs, hereditary caretakers, of the well as long as anyone can remember.