wells at Tara

The approach to the well

There are in fact six wells at Tara (or seven depending on what map you use as some may have been filled in or dried up) and not all of them are religious wells in the traditional sense (or at least as far as we know), but some do bear the name of Saint Patrick. The Well of the White Cow is situated at the base of Tara Hill and just to confuse matters it has multiple names: Caprach Cormac; meaning ‘Cormac’s well’, a nod to one of the King’s at Tara, Liagh; meaning ‘the Physician’s well’, possibly a reference to the belief in its healing property, Tipra bo finne; meaning ‘the well of the White Cow’, Deare dubhe; meaning ‘the well of the dark eye’ - possibly a description of it’s appearance or relating to its power to heal the eyesight, and Poll tocair na tuiliche; meaning ‘Trial by Ordeal’. There is a medieval manuscript that talks about entering the waters and coming up again: if you had a black spot you were guilty and if you were spotless you were innocent.
It is also known as Saint Patrick’s well. Some of these names can be explained with their connection to myth (Poll tochair na tuiliche), a possible local and more ‘modern’ fond invention (Caprach Cormac) or simply names expressing its use or purpose (Liagh and Deare Dubh), but the name of Tipra bo finne is by far the most intriguing name (although it to may be a more modern association). This name appears in a mid medieval set of legends – from which almost all of the legends of Tara come. You will read and you will also be told that these legends are very early and speak of Ireland’s pagan past, but it isn’t necessarily so. The myths are medieval in date in terms of when they were collated by Christian monks, and they have been overlaid with obscure imagery often to convey Christian ideas – and the white cow is one such idea. The main citations for the myths of a pagan, life-giving cow are the Ulster Cycle which contains the famous Tain Bo Cuailnge (Two sources; both twelfth century), the Historical Cycle containing the famous vision of Conn of the Hundred Battles (again a twelfth century work of poetry and prose) and the Fenian or Ossianic Cycle which contains the famous story of the well surrounded by trees and the salmon of wisdom (a thirteenth century work) and the Mythological cycle (a twelfth century work).  

from HERE



The healing well between Rath Lugh and the church at Skreen/Skryne



The Healing Well - according to what a man working on the field next to it told Jane  last summer - this is known locally as a healing well 
- people used to queue up at the cottage upstream and come down to it

It has three different stages of masonry work so has probably been rebuilt a few times - 
the water in it is about a foot higher than in the nearby stream - it is from a natural spring

It is about 30 metres to the motorway - and is not mentioned in any of the archaeology reports

..how ancient may it be ...?
the folklore report which the Planning Approval for this M3on this route was conditional on - does not seem to exist

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 "...On a dark night , Tara must be able to see the stars..."

Colm Toibin


valley of the White Mare...

Lismullin stone

Lismullin Stone




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