S Féichins Holy Well

“This is a holy well and in the last century stations were performed here on St Feichin's Day, 2nd January, on S John's Day, 24th June and on St Peter's Day, 29th June. There was an ash tree with three branches growing over the well and it was – and still is – the custom for visitors to drive a coin edgeways into the bark. This may have been injurious to the tree which is now dead, but the single surviving branch still exhibits a good selection of coinage. It is said that the wood from the tree will not burn, and the water from the well will never boil. The water was taken as a cure for headache and toothache. ” Taken from the information board at the site.


The traditional pilgrimage at Fore was known as the Seven Wonders of Fore. Station 2, the water that would not boil and station 6, the tree that will not burn, relate to Tobernacogany holy well. It was a custom for pilgrims to hammer coins into the bark, this eventually led to the death of the tree. A new tree has now grown from a sapling at the well. These trees are known as Rag trees or Raggedy bushes and modern visitors still perform the custom of tying rags or clooties to the branches. It is believed that if a piece of clothing, belonging to someone with an illness or problem, was tied to the tree, there problems or ailments would disappear as the rag rotted away. Other stations were performed at, Fore Abbey, the anchorites cell, the mill and St Féichin's Church.

Situated: Tobernacogany is located down a small track at the abbey car-park.

Discovery Map 41: N 5097 7055. Last visit July 2018.

Longitude: 7° 13' 42" W

Latitude: 53° 40' 56" N

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Photos: Jim Dempsey.

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