ME02234 - DOWTH - Ritual site - holy well

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Situated on a gentle S-facing slope. St Bernard’s Well is described in gothic lettering on the 1836 and 1908 editions of the OS 6-inch map. In 1836 John O’Donovan describes the well as Tober Seannachainn (Herity 2001, 43), and the name had been recorded by in the early seventeenth century by Bishop Usher. The name continued into the 1930s at least (IFC: vol. 317, 524) together with the story of how it became polluted and moved to a location closer to the River Boyne (French 2011, 3, 4). Seanchán was reputedly one of the seven sons of the pagan god Lugh, and he and his brothers are associated with churches in the Dublin and Meth area. The ninth century Martyrology of Tallaght describes Seanchán as of Dowth, and his feast was celebrated on the 16th or 17th of December (Ó Riain 2011, 560-1). The well is a natural spring feeding into a rectangular cement trough beneath a bush but there is no evidence of veneration. Compiled by: Michael Moore Date of upload: 10 September 2018

Description Source: Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage

Monument Details

DOWTH, Meath
53.7029, -6.44857

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