St. John's Well

Dublin Core


St. John's Well

Description of Well Item Type Metadata

1 Name of well and saint

St Eóin’s Well, Tobar Naomh Eóin, Toberruane (St. John) (Photo by Amanda Clarke)

2 Townland, County, GPS

Asdee, County Kerry

3 Physical description of well and its surroundings

The entrance to the well is protected by a stone gate and ivy shrubbery that prohibits seeing into the field where pews and other evidence of pilgrim worship are found. The well is surrounded by a wooden fence that leads into the subterranean water. Long stones are stacked at the bottom of the well to pool the water. A stone formation is beside the well and houses a window depicting the Blessed Virgin Mary where offerings are given. The well seems to be in good condition.

4 Cure

The well's cure is for rheumatism and eye ailments like blindness. A story from the School's Folklore Collection explains how a blind man in one eye visited the well, paid his rounds and washed his eye with the water. The eye was washed and a lump fell into the well and was carried away by a fish and he was cured of his blindness. Another story from The Kerryman magazine in 2017 tells a story of a man from the 1880s who brought his nearly blind servant to the well, and she was cured of her blindness. Later, he brings a blind horse to the well to cure it of blindness and it works- at the cost of the master's eyesight.

5 Pattern day

The well's pattern day is on St John’s Day on 24th of June. Pilgrims can be found at the well on other days such as Michaelmas and Saturdays in May.

6 Offerings

Offerings such as metals, candles, and religious imagery are left at the window of the BVM. Strings and rags left as offerings are tied to some of the bushes and vines surrounding the site.

7 Prayer rounds and stations

The pilgrims visiting the well on any of the pilgrimage days will pay 3 rounds whilst repeating a rosary, which is done a total of 3 times.

8 Stories

The well has had multiple saint dedications over its time: St. Eóin’s Well, St. Senan’s Well, and St. Luke's Well.

9 Publications

Schools’ Folklore Collection:104:0403

Holy Wells of North County Kerry, 1958

10 More

There is another short story in a book named Holy Wells of North County Kerry (1958) that tells of a man who wants to stop pilgrims from accessing the holy well, so he lets loose a bull to deter the pilgrims. The bull then turned around, charges, and killed the man.