Disert, Co. Donegal

Dublin Core


Disert, Co. Donegal


C Ray

Description of Well Item Type Metadata

1 Name of well and saint

St Colmcille

2 Townland, County, GPS

Disert, Co. Donegal

3 Physical description of well and its surroundings

On a slope of Carnaween in the Bluestack Mountains, the well is near an ecclesiastical enclosure and a graveyard which was used as a cillín (for buying unbaptised infants) into the 1930s. The beautiful situation of the well makes it easy to understand why it was chosen by those wishing to seek a religious life apart from the world (a dísert, named for the desert abodes sought by early Christian hermits). The site also has an altar called a Mass Rock.

4 Cure

The well water is thought to have had many cures, but more notably, the soil of the vicinity was thought to rid rodents and other pests from one's home and fields if sprinkled there.

5 Pattern day

St Colmcille's day, the ninth of June, was the main visitation day on which pilgrims also climbed Carnaween (also associated with the saint). By the later twentieth century, visitation shifted to the first Sunday in June.

10 More

This site is actively being researched by Dr. Fiona Beglane of the Sligo Institute of Technology.