Wednesday 29 May 2024

St. Patrick's Well Blessington Co Wicklow


                                        Above Image: Direction sign at the lane

                                          Above Image: The lane way to the well

                    Above Image & Below Image: The entrance gate & Steps downward

                                              Above & Below Image: The well

This holy well is one of those I have come across on trips around the country and now and then I like to record them as they can bring focus to local history and of those who availed of them over the centuries.
Immediately of note is the name given to this particular well hidden off the main road in Blessington  Whether St. Patrick visited here is long lost in time but the naming of the well must have at least some significance. It is not too far from Burgage which itself has a lot of history attached. 

Originally situated in meadowland the well was over the years visited by people in search of hope and perhaps healing from its water. By the nineteenth century it had been upgraded and from 1825 provided a supply of water to the town for a good number of years. The townland is known as Millbank and a corn mill had once stood nearby but with the coming of the reservoir and dam at Poulaphuca it was submerged by the waters and the road leading to it closed off by a barrier.

The well became overgrown with some rough steps and a dangerous wall until in 2004 a joint operation between some like-minded locals led by Aidan Cruise and the Electricity Supply Board resulted in the restoration of the well, the steps and brand new supporting walls. It was finally made accessible to all but still remains hidden off the main road. A quick study of some local mapping led us to the old lane and the metal entrance gate. There is a commerorative sign on the wall outside and a set of steps down to the alcove in which the well lies. It is a quiet and reflective spot here and not too far from the lake. I am led to believe that it was the victim of some vandalism a while back some time after our visit and it also appears the access lane is on the cards for some upgrading by the Council. So I would be interested to know if it is still currently accessible.

To find the well take the N81 West from Tallaght towards Blessington (approx 12 miles). Drive through the Town until you have passed the tower of St. Mary's church on your left then take the next left hand turn onto Kilbride Road. Drive approx 150 metres until you see a sign on your right pointing to the well. The road splits here on the right with the old abandoned lane sloping downwards and the well entrance on the right hand side. We parked on the road just above the lane entrance.

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