St. Colmcille's Well


St. Colmcille's Well

St. Colmcille's Well is located on Well Road off Swords Main Street and I could not find any notice at the site indicating that it was a ‘Holy Well’.

Often unmarked on maps and undistinguished by archaeological features, holy wells are a uniquely vulnerable category of ancient site. They continue to be lost to farming, drainage work, development or neglect. A recent instance is the desecration of St Bridget’s Well at Rosepark, Balrothery (County Dublin, Ireland), destroyed by building work in 2003 despite being a protected monument.

A holy well or sacred spring is a spring or other small body of water revered either in a Pagan or Christian context, often both. Holy wells were frequently pagan sacred sites that later became Christianised. The term 'holy well' is commonly employed to refer to any water source of limited size (i.e. not a lake or river, but including pools and natural springs and seeps), which has some significance in the folklore of the area where it is located, whether in the form of a particular name, an associated legend, the attribution of healing qualities to the water through the numinous presence of its guardian spirit or Christian saint, or a ceremony or ritual centred on the well site.

In Christian legend, the water is often said to have been made to flow by the action of a saint, a familiar theme especially in the hagiography of Celtic saints.