St. Declan's Well
Description of Well Item Type Metadata
1 Name of well and saint
St. Declan's Well, Toor
2 Townland, County, GPS
Toor, Co. Waterford
3 Physical description of well and its surroundings
The well can be found off R671 towards Clonmel for 5km and it is signposted under “The Holy Well.” Josephine and Jerry Fitzgerald contributed to the many plaques that are there. There is a statue of saint Declan and a plaque that reads much about Saint Declan’s contributions. A statue of Mary stands nearby with two stone crucifixes. A stone altar is above and a pulpit is nearby for outdoor services.
(Broderick 2016: 45).
(Broderick 2016: 45).
People who visit the site must visit three times in order to be cured. Many wash their limbs, as the well is believed to have curative properties for skin ailments. It is also believed to cure eye ailments as well (Broderick 2016: 45). Those wishing to bathe an afflicted portion of the body are asked to bathe in a small shielded area to which the well flows and water used for washing then flows away. Washing is not undertaken at the main font.
5 Pattern day
The pattern day is celebrated on July 24, and mass is celebrated at the site. Rounds are also done as part of the pattern day ritual.
There is evidence of offerings deposited at the site. These include flowers and plastic flowers, rosary beads, rags, shoe laces, ties, and towels. The rags and towels are tied to a nearby bush. There is a wooden cross nearby where people hang rosary beads.
7 Prayer rounds and stations
The well does observe a long standing pilgrimage tradition, and people do a round at the well reciting the rosary. Many also wash their limbs in a nearby trough as part of the ritual.
Stories say that St. Declan stopped at this well himself for a drink on his way to Cashel. Much of its upkeep in the mid 20th century was due to the Fitzgeralds and their plaque contributions. These nearby crucifixes and pulpit are Church-approved forms of piety at the well and speak to modern traditions (Broderick 2016: 45).
Broderick, Eugene. 2016. Patterns and Patrons: The Holy Wells of Waterford. 45.
The photo is courtesy of Medieval Pilgrimages Ireland (2012), accessed 7 April 2021.