St Moling's Holy Well

If you look north from the monastic site at St Mullins, you can see this holy well in the valley below. Dedicated to St Moling the well has been a place of worship since early times. There is a large spring about 3.35 metres in diameter surrounded by trees. From this spring the water is fed through two slits into a large stone well house. From a distance the well house looks like a small roofless church. Although the well now runs dry, pilgrims would flock to this well during medieval times. The first reference to a Holy Well at St. Mullins is found in the Annals of Friar Clyn, the Kilkenny chronicler, which dates from the year A.D. 1348.

In those days, the plague swept across Ireland and pilgrims made their way to the holy well at St. Mullins searching for a cure. They would circle the well in a clockwise direction, known as circumambulation, while reciting prayers. During the 19th century a pilgrimage to St Molings well would take place twice a year on the 17th June and also on the 25th July. The well house was used for bathing children suffering from a variety of diseases. Today the Patron or Pattern day is held on the sunday before the 25th July. If you are touring the Carlow area St Molings Well and the Monastic site would be a gorgeous place to stop and have a picnic. There is ample car-parking near the holy well.

Situated: Very easy. Head for St Mullins monastic site. The well is sign-posted from here.

Discovery Map 68: S 728 381. Last visit March 2011.

Longitude:  6° 55' 39" W

Latitude:  52° 29' 24" N

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Photos: Jim Dempsey and Deb Snelson.

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