Saints and Stones: Struell Wells

The Struell Wells were once pagan places of worship but are now strongly associated with St. Patrick. There are four wells (once famed throughout Europe as a bath house, drinking well and eye well), with water running through underground channels that are located in a secluded rocky valley beside the ruins of a chapel dedicated to St. Patrick.

On mid-Summer eve and the Friday before Lammas -- August 1 is Lammas Day (loaf-mass day), the festival of the first wheat harvest of the year -- hundreds of pilgrims used to visit Struell. The earliest written reference to the wells is in 1306, but none of the surviving buildings is earlier than about 1600.

The site is traditionally associated with St. Patrick, who is supposed to have come from nearby Saul to bathe in the waters. Legend has it that he blessed the wells and that he used to spend a great part of the night standing in the water singing psalms and spiritual songs. These wells are almost certain to have been the fountain, Slan, mentioned in Saint Fiacc's hymn of St. Patrick.

Even today people come to Struell Wells seeking cures.

About Struell Wells

Irish Antiquities: Struell Wells
Discover Northern Ireland: Struell Wells
Wikipedia: Struell Wells
Wikipedia: Saint Patrick

Journey to Struell Wells

The Struell Wells site is on a minor road 1-1/2 miles east of Downpatrick in County Down, Northern Ireland.

Map Reference: J5144

Visitors Information

Visitors information may be found at the website. General tourist information may be found at the Discover Northern Ireland: County Down Tourism website.

Additional Photos of Struell Wells

Sign at Struell Wells
Descriptive Sign for Struell Wells
Ruins of 16th Century Church (left) and Drinking Well (right), Struell Wells
Close-Up of Drinking Well, Struell Wells
Eye Well (left) and Bath House (right), Struell Wells
Close-Up of Eye Well, Struell Wells
Men's Bath House, Sruell Wells
Men's Changing Room in Bath House, Struell Wells

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