Holy Wells Project

Many Holy Well sites have been lost in recent decades and the traditions associated with them are often no longer practiced, but some knowledge about them remains Monaghan communities.

Holy Wells are bio-cultural sites, where water chemistry characteristics often lended themselves as cures for particular illnesses, where traditional rituals became established and a longevity of usage through various cultural contexts occurred.  They are very much associated with local landscapes, with local saints and are held dear by local people.   They are of cultural, archaeological, ecological, folklore, spiritual, religious, geological and hydrological significance.

In order to safeguard oral traditions associated with these places relating to patterns, prayers, cures etc. it is timely to start this project now.    Some of the practices and traditions could be remnants of a social memory of ritual actions across thousands of years as described by Ray in Sacred Wells across the Longue Durée.

It is crucial to the project that we work with communities and other stakeholders from the outset of the project.

Questions such as these can only be answered with your participation: Do you have information to share about the Holy Wells of Monaghan? Are there wells still frequented but not officially recorded? Are there customs, rounds, traditions, stories or cures associated with your local holy well that you would like to share? Do you know what day the well was visited and what prayers were said? Were offerings left at the well, stone or at a nearby tree?  Is the well under threat from changes in usage or development?

We’d love to hear from you.  Please download the form and fill in as much detail as you can, which you can download here.

Monaghan Holy Well Information Submission Form (MS Word)

Alternatively, you can send us an email at heritage@monaghancoco.ie or write to us at Heritage Office, Monaghan County Council, The Glen, Monaghan H18 YT50.

This project is supported by Monaghan County Council and the Heritage Council.