St Fortchern's Well

Holy Well and Bullaun Stone

After visiting the wonderful church at Killoughternane, the holy well in the same locality is quite a disappointment. As can be seen in the image above, the well is surrounded by a rather ugly wall. The location of the well was lost for a long time until about 1880 when the landowner, Mr O'Connell found a bottle with instructions indicating the location. A lady named Betty O'Hara was cleaning the well anf found a chalice and paten hidden in the well. The chalice is 8.5 inches in height and made of silver overlain with gold. On the base is an inscription dating it to 1595. The paten is also overlain with gold. It is believed that a priest who may have been pursued by priest hunters during the penal times hid them there. The chalice and paten are now kept in the Parochial house at Bagnelstown.

With such a rich history I was hoping this well would be in better condition. Also present at the site is a bullaun stone located next to the hedgerow at the entrance to the well. The stone has a large single bullaun. I believe it was moved from the church at Killoughternane to here. The name Killoughternane is derived from Cill Foirtcheirn, the Church of St Fortchern.

Situated: See Killoughternane Church. The well is through a gate on the opposite side to the White Church.

Discovery Map 68: S 778 542. Last visit March 2011.

Longitude: 6° 51' 2.71" W

Latitude: 52° 38' 0.66" N

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Photos: Jim Dempsey and Deb Snelson.

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