St. Senan's Well

Dublin Core


St. Senan's Well

Description of Well Item Type Metadata

1 Name of well and saint

St. Senan's Well (Photo by Amanda Clarke)

2 Townland, County, GPS

Tarmon East, County Kerry

3 Physical description of well and its surroundings

There is a path that leads to the well and the well is surrounded by sally and blackthorn bushes, the site is embedded into a small hill in an open field. The well house is circular shaped and built from rough stones. The front of the monument has an opening in the middle for access to the water. Above the well, three statues (of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Sacred Heart, and Mary of the Gael Saint Brigid), oversee the site. To the left is a painted depiction of St. Senan in black and white paint. A rusty donation box iaccepts contributions for the upkeep of the site.

4 Cure

The well's cure is for eyes. There was once a girl who went to the well and was cured of her blindness. She then forgot to pray and thank God and the next day she was blind again. (The Holy Wells of North Kerry. In Vol 88, No 2 p 158 in the Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries 1958)

5 Pattern day

The pattern day is celebrated on March 8th. A tradition of a match of football and a tug of war game was played with every able bodied man. Additionally, pilgrims can be found at the well on the days of Saturday before the 1st of May, the Saturday before Saint John’s day, the 24th June, and the Saturday before Michaelmas the 29th of September.

6 Offerings

Strings, tassels of shawls, and things of the like are left on the bushes next to the well.

7 Prayer rounds and stations

The path of the rounds is treaded in a circle around the well. One rosary is to be said per three rounds of the well. It takes 9 rounds around the well to complete 3 rosaries. "The round is started by kneeling in front of the well and beginning the Rosary there and after some time stand up and walk round the orbit 3 times completing the round of the Beads in front of the well. Then start the second Rosary and walk round orbit 3 times and complete Beads at front of well" (Schools' Folklore Collection: 039-041:0412)

8 Stories

The origin of the well is from St. Senan sleeping at this spot and praying. His head laid on a stone "pillow" and this stone shows the imprint of his face. The next morning, a well was sprung from the ground.

10 More

The Holy Wells of North Kerry. In Vol 88, No 2 p 158 in the Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries, 1958

Schools’ Folklore Collection: 021/022:0412