Visit One Of Ireland's Many Holy Wells at Ardmore, Co. Waterford
St. Declan founded a seminary in Ardmore, Co.Waterford, around 416 and the Holy Well at the beginning of the Cliff Walk served as a baptisery for St. Declan, who Christianised the area as Decies and that was before St. Patrick came in around 431 A.D. St. Patrick and St. Declan met a number of times at Cashel, Co. Tipperary.
St. Declan later retired for greater seclusion to a little cell he constructed at the spot where now stands the ruined church beside the Holy Well. The Well is dedicated, like every other ancient monument in Ardmore, Co. Waterford, to St. Declan.
Three rude crucifixions (apparently late medieval) in stone have seen built into the modern masonry which surmounts the well. Rounds or Stations are performed at the well and church ruin by thousands of persons on each recurring feast day of St. Declan on July 24th or on the Sunday within its octave. At midnight on the 23rd of July, a mass is sometimes celebrated at the Well.
The following is quoted from a local paper [Dungarvan Observer 1936] under the heading “St. Declan’s Well, Ardmore”:
“A young local man writes stating that on his first visit to St. Declan’s Blessed Well at Ardmore, he was cured of an ailment which the doctor had failed to cure. He exhorts people to visit the Holy Well on July 23rd and 24th each year.”