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Heritage & Conservation

Mayo Holy Wells Project


Mayo’s Holy wells are sacred places embedded in the natural landscape. They are often places of great antiquity, steeped in folklore and traditional custom. Holy wells hold an important place in Ireland’s culture, offering pilgrims a peaceful place for personal devotion, prayer and healing.

There are 146 holy wells recorded in County Mayo in the Archaeological Survey of Ireland. Mayo’s holy wells can be found in many locations throughout the county, down boreens, up mountains, in bogs, by the seashore and even in our towns and villages. Many of Mayo’s wells are still frequented, with active devotions taking place. However, many more wells are now forgotten; both the location and customs lost from living memory.

The Heritage Office has commenced a survey of Mayo's holy wells. We will be collecting and compiling as much information as we can on Mayo’s holy wells. Local knowledge will be very valuable to the project, and we are encouraging people to provide information on their local holy wells.

Do you have information to share about the Holy Wells of Mayo? Are there wells still frequented but not officially recorded? Are there customs, rounds, traditions, stories, or cures associated with your local holy well that you would like to share? Do you know what day the well was visited and what prayers were said? Were offerings left at the well, stone or at a nearby tree?

By taking part in the Holy Wells of Mayo online survey you will help to record these unique and treasured places, which are an important part of Mayo’s heritage.

Follow the link below to answer a few short questions and add the information you wish to share on your local holy well.

https://arcg.is/10nqbT

All information no matter how small will be greatly appreciated and the information gathered from the survey will produce a permanent database of known holy wells and the beliefs attached to them. This will be held by the Heritage Office of Mayo County Council and will be made available to the public.

The closing date for records to be submitted is Monday October 24th, 2022.

If you have any queries about the Mayo Holy Well Survey or are part of a Mayo based community group who are considering developing a project to care for the holy well in your area, you can contact Tamlyn on 086 8706529 or email info@fadoarchaeology.com.

 

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