Lady Well St. Mary

Dublin Core


Lady Well St. Mary

Description of Well Item Type Metadata

1 Name of well and saint

Tobar Mhuire (also known as Lady Well) is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

2 Townland, County, GPS

The well is located in Modeligo, County Waterford

3 Physical description of well and its surroundings

This well consists of a hollowed out rock outcrop that collects rainwater. It is believed that the hollow is due to the natural erosion caused by rainwater. There is not a spring source that feeds into the well. A small border of concrete surrounds the site, and several patches of trees grow in the field adjacent to the well.

4 Cure

This well is said to cure ailments of the eye, and is said that this is due to the cross carved into the base of the well.

5 Pattern day

The pattern day is celebrated on August 15th by pilgrims in order to say the rosary.

6 Offerings

Rags and rosary beads were once hung on an old white thorn bush that grows by the well, but the practice has been discontinued after the 1960's.

7 Prayer rounds and stations

In old times, the water would be removed from the well and would be replaced the day before the pattern day in order to keep the waters pure. Pilgrims would pour water on their hands and rub it on their bodies, while others would drink it from the palms of their hands. Prayer rounds would end at a flowing spring well around 60 meters away near the Finish River. This location was dedicated to the Holy Trinity, and pilgrims would end their rounds by drinking 3 times from the river in honor of the Blessed Trinity. In present times, the well is still cleaned before every pattern day by a member of the McCarthy family to remove algae. However, most pilgrims finish their rounds and prayers at the well rather than the Tobar Mhuire well rather than the Trinity Well (which is no longer revered as a holy site).

8 Stories

There is a local legend that a blind man and his seeing son travelled 20 miles to visit the well. On their second round around the well, the old man said that he could see a fish, and his sight was restored from that moment on. Another legend states that the well had previously been located in another spot but was moved due to an act of disrespect. According to the story, the man who disrespected the well became blind and nothing grew in the original field once the well was moved. A final legend tells the story of a Cromwellian soldier who was in possession of a blind horse. The man offered his servant 10 pounds to take the horse to drink from the well, but the servant refused to disrespect the site. The soldier took the horse himself to drink from the well, and while the horse regained his sight, the soldier became blind.

9 Publications

Eugene Broderick (2016) Broderick, Eugene. 2016. Patterns and Patrons: The Holy Wells of Waterford. (p.42-45)

10 More

Local people believe that the rainwater that fills the well becomes blessed the moment it falls into the well.