St. Mochuda's well

Dublin Core


St. Mochuda's well

Description of Well Item Type Metadata

1 Name of well and saint

Saint Cuddy's Holy Well or Cloc Mo Cuda, St Mochuda

2 Townland, County, GPS

Knockreer, County Kerry

3 Physical description of well and its surroundings

There are two bullauns within one slab of stone and a third bullaun close by surrounded by smaller stones. Above the well grows a tree with white cross painted on its trunk.

4 Cure

A specific cure is not given, but a cure is obtained by doing the rounds and if one sees a robin they are said to be healed.

5 Pattern day

The pattern day falls on May 16th and is celebrated with an annual pilgrimage to the site to be visited three times.

6 Offerings

Offerings vary but always include bread for the robin and the offerings are to be left on the tree.

7 Prayer rounds and stations

A quote from the School's Folklore collection provides a detailed account of the rounds required: "This is a Triduum. The way to the Cloc was originally a public right of way. It was closed and enclosed in Kenmare Demesne by a Grand Jury Order. The custodians took the key for the old pathway from one Irwin who was caretaker at Deenagh Lodge. THE PILGRIM arrived at dawn. She brought with her:

(a) a quantity of plain water in a vessel.

(b) Three rags. They were left behind and hung on a Palm tree overhanging the stone.

(c) Some fragments of Bread. If the Robin appeared rags were given him. Some think that a priest (was) known as the “Robin” and that the “rags” were in reality the altar linen. Tradition says if the robin appears your request will be granted.

(D) The pilgrim returned to Killarney heard Mass and communicated.

(E) The prayers prescribed were the Rosary but if the pilgirm had to hurry away 5 Paters, Aves and Gloria’s sufficed.

(F) The water used by the Pilgrim from the stone for blessings was to be replaced from the stone brought. The vessel was not to be brought back.

(G) The Credo was to be recited on the flag. " (SFC: 0455:218-219)

8 Stories

On the origin of the well: "Long, long ago there was a monk living in the monastery of Innisfallen. He used to go for a walk every day. One day when he was teaching in the school he told the pupils that he would be back to say the Angelus with them. He went away and was not gone far when he was attracted by the singing of a robin. The music was so delightful that he followed the robin and when he had travelled about four miles after the bird he heard the Angelus bell ringing. He knelt down to say the Angelus and he was so tired he fell asleep. He remained there for nearly two hundred years and when he woke up the place was changed entirely. The print of his two knees remained on the stone, and that is why they called it Cloc Mo Cuda."(SFC: ).
It is also said that the third bulluan is where he rested his forehead. There are a few variations of the same story that can be found at the School's Folklore Collection website.
Another story: "Cloc Mo Cuda is about half a mile from the town of Killarney. People go there before sunrise to obtain a request or be cured. People who go there do rounds around the well and while they are walking they say the Rosary. There is a small tree over the well and if the request is granted or if the person is cured a robin will appear in the tree. My mother and three other women were going to do the rounds. On the third morning my mother and two of the women saw the robin but the other woman did not. She had gone there to be cured and a short time after she died. People are supposed to leave something on the tree as a token and they have to leave a piece of bread also for the robin."(SFC: 0455:215-217).

9 Publications
Schools Folklore Collection (SFC)

10 More

The photograph below is provided by Clarke from