Teltown, Loughcrew, Ciaran's Well
Teltown - named after the Irish goddess Tailtiu.
Above: River Blackwater at Teltown House
Teltown – Tailteann- Site of the August Oenach, aka Lughnasadh assembly, where games, meetings and marriages took place.
Place where the Tuatha de Danann lost a battle with the Milesians and they were forced underground.
According to the Senchas na Relec in Lebor na Huidhre it was one of the chieftain burial places.
- Headless man,
- 7 year old father and son small enough to sit on a finger,
- ships in sky
"The Annals of Ulster in the year AD 749 report that ships were seen in the air (some said above the monastery of Clonmacnois). Other sources report a similar episode at Teltown, during the reign of Congalach mac Maele Mithig (d. AD 956), when a ship appeared in the air above a market fair (oenach) and a member of the crew cast a spear down at a salmon below.
When he came down to retrieve the spear a man on the ground took hold of him, whereupon the man from above said:
'Let me go! I'm being drowned!'
Congalach ordered that the man be released and he scurried back up to his shipmates,
'who were all that time looking down, and were laughing together.'
Well they might. There is no point in trying to explore the Otherworld with the apparatus and outlook of the science laboratory: flying ships are not subject to the laws of quantum mechanics."
-Rath Dubh, Dubh Loch & Abha Dubh, Crom Dubh
River Blackwater,abhainn saile
- aka Bo Guaire, Guaire's cow, possibly rising in Sliabh Guaire.
- built on old earthwork, founded by St Patrick. There is said to be a passage from Rath Airthir (Eastern Fort) to the church, a vast treasure in the crypt of church. Men and women looking for the fortune follow a piper and never return.
- several artificial lakes are in the area
- at entrance to Teltown House – Leary's Hole. St Patrick is said to have condemned King Laoghaire to remain in it until Judgement day. It is also said to be the entrance to Hell.
– deep long rectangular cleft sometimes recognised as a marriage site, although this could have been at the more circular hollow lower on the hillside.
References for the text - LeborGabala, Dindshenchas, Annals of Four Masters
Set among three hundred acres of rich pasture land in the heart of the Boyne yet just 55 minutes from Dublin Airport. and only a short drive from the towns of Navan, Kells and Slane, Bertie and Renée Clarke’s lovely creeper-covered 17th century country house overlooks the River Blackwater Valley.
|Nora M points out that the Blackwater River is a tributary of the Boyne, thereby connecting to Bective. All places inspiring our meditations and celebrations.|
Information reviewed 4th February 2022.
The climb to Loughcrew is very steep and visitors are asked to wear suitable footwear and to be careful.
Thanks to the OPW for this photo of Autumn Equinox sunrise 2019. In the 1980's Martin Brennan discovered that Cairn T receives light from the rising sun on the spring and autumnal equinox - a beam shining down the passageway and illuminating the rock art on the backstone.
Loughcrew near Oldcastle in Co. Meath, aka Sliabh na Cailleach, the Mountains of the Hag / Witch / Wisewoman / Crone.
There is a link between here and Teltown. It is said a hag lived here, she was queen of the Tailteans and the Tailtean games were played at Loughcrew. Several people of noble birth visited every year to join in these games.
Ollamh Follamh was a constant visitor at the Loughcrew hills and when he died his body was cremated and the remains were buried there. King Laoghaire also lived there and a neighbouring townland was called Drumlaoghaire in his honour. Duchas School's collection story.
A large complex of chambered cairns spread across the hilltops many up to 5000 years old.
The tombs are located on three different hills and Cairn T, one of the largest tombs in the complex, is situated on Cairnbane East. Inside this tomb lies a cruciform chamber, a corbelled roof and some of the most beautiful examples of Neolithic art in Ireland. During the Vernal and Autumn Equinox people gather at dawn in Cairn T to watch sunlight enter the chamber and illuminate the inside of the tomb. OPW information on the site managed by them at Loughcrew. Click here for opening times and information for visiting the site.
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.