Holy Well, Wilderness Gorge, Clonmel

Walking through Wilderness Gorge in Clonmel – a somewhat less dramatic landscape than the name suggests – I came across this sign:

It had been a good few weeks since I had walked through the Gorge, but the sign wasn’t there before.

Beside the sign (though it wasnt totally clear from arrowless sign if this is what it was referring to) there was a dip in the ground which broadened somewhat to reach a muddy pool. However this pool extended under a small bridge which formed part of the path

I was with  my son so was obviously (well, maybe not obviously!) more focused on maintaining his safety and relative non-muddiness than taking good photos, so apologies. I hadn’t come across a reference to a Holy Well here before. The superb Pilgrimage in Medieval Ireland blog has posts on St Patrick’s Well in Marlfield and the lesser known Rag Well also in Clonmel.

There was no sign of any devotional activity of any kind as far as I could see. There was no sign of an bullaun or any of the structures I would usually associate with even a neglected well. To be honest it looked more like a bridge under which water from a nearby stream had pooled.

I am also a little unsure of the Irish on the sign – “Naomh Crannachán” I am unsure what saint this could be referring to? Happy to have correction/guidance

3 Thoughts

  1. You give no info on location ! Is this the Wilderness Gorge in Clonmel on the old Clonmel-Thurles railway. I grew up in Clonmel and this was my play ground. Never heard of Naomh Crannachán or a holy well.


    1. Hi Brian

      Sorry didn’t have info on location – where I mean is the pond and walk near to the Council recycling centre! I am a recent Clonmel transplant so may be misusing the term. It does seem that the well is an invention of very very recent times….but who or why I don’t know!


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