21.6 x 13.8 pp. 170 pp. 1992 pbk repr. of 1980 edition
Holy wells have been a feature of the religion of the Irish people for longer than records have existed, and while pilgrimages to them are not as common as in the last centuries, many wells are still visited, particularly on the Saints’ or ‘Pattern’ Days, and even now new wells occasionally appear.
In this survey Dr Patrick Logan, author of The Old Gods, Irish Country Cures and Fair Day: The Story of Irish Fairs and Markets, describes many of those wells that are still visited, detailing the features of the pilgrimage and the benefits obtained, together with the legends attached to the wells, the saints they are dedicated to and their Pattern Days, the sites, trees and stones associated with them, and fish that some of them have; he also gives information about the holy islands that have wells.
This collection does not attempt to describe every holy well in Ireland – an impossible task with so many – but Dr Logan has gathered together a collection of the most representative and interesting ones that visitors, pilgrims, and historians, as well as the local people will find it fascinating to read about.
‘What the author has done is to collect . . . a huge amount of important material about the wells, their history, the saints to whom they are dedicated, and their accessories, so to speak, such as the sites, the fish that some still nurture, and even such fascinating things as "swearing stones" and "cursing stones" . . . . A volume that is much needed and that will be a source of fascination to scholars and local historians alike for many years to come.’ Cork Examiner
'Dr Logan has succeeded in packing a great volume of interesting and useful information into this book.' Irish Independent
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