St Ciaran's Well, Castlekeeran, Co. Meath

Venue: St Ciaran's Well, Castlekeeran, Co. Meath

From 'The Beauties of the Boyne and its tributary the Blackwater' by William Wilde:

About a furlong's length to the west of the old church may be seen St. Kieran's well, one of the most beautiful holy wells in Ireland, and shaded by a hoary ash tree of surpassing size and beauty...

The well is situated on the side of a beautiful and exquisitely green sloping bank, upon which the neighbouring sheep love to congregate. It springs from a limestone rock of considerable extent; and appears first in a small natural basin immediately at the foot of the tree.

Within the well are several trouts, each about half a pound weight. They have been there " as long as the oldest inhabitants can recollect" and, strange to tell, they are said not to have grown an ounce within that period. These fish are held in the highest veneration by the people, who, when the well is being annually cleansed of weeds, carefully preserve the blessed creatures, and replace them as soon as possible.

About ten years ago a report spread over Meath and the surrounding counties, that Saint Kieran's ash tree was bleeding, and thousands of people flocked to the place to witness the wonder, and many brought with them vessels and bottles in which they hoped to carry away a portion of the miraculous fluid. With this it was hoped they might perform cures such as " common doctors" could not even attempt.

From the County Atlas of Ireland, drawn and engraved by John Kirkwood 1868 -

Legend has it that the healing powers of the water are at their strongest between midnight and 1a.m. on the first Saturday of August and each year dozens of people take the old pilgrim route there.

Nowadays the trout at said to appear only at mid-night on 1st August.

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There is a large stone Oratoryon the top of the hill, erected in 1913, looking down on the limestone pavement and well.

The waters at Ciaran'sWell carry special healing powers, the water in one of the pools is said to have been the cure of headaches, toothaches and sorethroats. Bathing feet in the tiny stream that flows from the well is said to preserve them from soreness during the coming year and healing of warts.

Within the rocks is a chair shaped depression that is said to have the impression of the saint's back, and is believed to cure back ailments.

There are two bridges across the Stoneyford River from the road onto the site.