Home page link

St Bridget's Well, Liscannor, County Clare

Category: 
Holy well and place of pilgrimage

This extraordinary, vibrant and potent site is centred around a an ancient cemetery. Circular walks follow the Stations of the Cross, ending with the Rite of the Holy Well. The well lies at the end of a manmade tunnel,it's water is crystal clear. A white trout is said to live within, whoever seeing it being guaranteed to have desires recognised.  Dedicated to St Brigid, patroness of healing amongst other things, every inch of the wellhouse is festooned with prayers, offering, states, photographs , an incredibly intimate and poignant collection.

The site still attracts a steady stream of pilgrims and the curious. A sign tells you what is expected:

Introduction Go on your knees in front of the status of St Brigid and express your intention (e.g. you come to have your headache/arthritis healed). Then say:

Go mbeannaí íosa duit, a Bhrighid Naofa, Go mbeannaí Muire duit is go mbannaím Féin duit; Chugat a thána’ mé ag gearán mo scéil chugat Agus d’iarraidh cabhair in onóir Dé ort

Translation:

May Jesus salute you, O holy Brigid, may Mary salute you and may I salute you myself. It is to you I have come making my complaint and asking your help for the honour of God

  • Go on your knees and say 5 Our Fathers, 5 Hail Mary’s and 5 Gloria’s.
  • Stand and proceed to make a round of the Statue of St Brigid (sunwise/desiceal keeping the statue on your right)
  • Recite the creed while moving.
  • Do this 5 times.
  • Go on your knees at the Well.

San Ula Uachtarach (In the upper Sanctuary)

  • Go on your knees and say 5 Our Fathers, 5 Hail Mary’s and 5 Gloria’s.
  • Stand and make a sunwise circumambulation on the long path while reciting the Creed
  • Do this 5 times.

At the Cross

  • Make a circumambulation (sunwise/desiceal) of the Cross while saying once the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Gloria.
  • Kiss the Cross.
  • Do this 5 times.

At the Well

  • Descend the steps to the Ula Iochtarach and go to the Well.
  • Drink the water 3 times.
  • Go on your knees and express your intention again.

Pattern days (days of devotion) are still held on:

St Brigid's Eve (31st January)

Garland Saturday and Sunday (last weekend in July)

The feast of the Assumption, 15th August.

The well has no doubt been revered for many centuries, possibly  beyond St Brigid to believers in the ancient, powerful and potent Celtic Goddess, also named Brigid.

 

Location: 
1 mile north of Liscannor, parking next to the pub
Fieldnotes: 

I don't think I've been anywhere quite like this - there is such a presence and feeling of continual worship and adoration. The small tunnel leading to the well is dark and womb like, lit by candles offered by visitors; the only noise dripping water. It is the sheer abundance and variety of offerings that is amazing - every inch of wall space is covered. There are photographs, prayers, a mass of statues, pleading letters, letters of thanks, newspaper cutting, hundreds of rosaries draped over necks of saints, a plastic cast for a leg, faded flowers, You feel in the presence of something very old, something very intimate, something very precious. I took so many photographs but it almost felt like an intrusion and very personal offerings have not been included here. Too many desperate stories, too many hopes, too many fears.