In Ireland, many natural springs have been associated with sacred sites and curative properties for much longer than histories have been recorded. Holy wells abound in Ireland, and as with many Christian icons can be traced back through the ages to even earlier times. Some are dedicated to the Virgin Mary, others to local, lesser known saints, and many carry the promise of special curative powers. Traditionally, many wells had special days of celebration and “patterns” or walking rituals that would be performed on the saint’s day to bring about healing.
One such site is the Dromore Holy well situated in woodland along Kenmare Bay. One misty day we stopped to explore the enticing path that led through a gap in the stone wall. Down through the ivy cover woods we followed the well marked path, and appreciated the stone steps laid out in the steeper areas which made the journey quite easy. Despite the winds and rain along the road, tucked down in the under story of the woods we were quite dry as we made our way among the ferns and fuschia bordering the path.
The spring trickles beneath the roots of two large trees, with mossy stones bounding the edges. This quiet spot on a wooded hillside seems just the place to come for curative waters, and to leave behind a token in exchange for the restoration you receive here. Some visitors leave a rock,a shell, or a coin on the stone ledge. Others tie a small piece of cloth to a tree branch. Whether you place your faith in the Christian saints, the Goddess, the fairies, or mother Nature you are likely to leave here feeling closer to your own inner peace.