St. Doolaghs Holy Well

Octagonal Baptistry

Octagonal Baptistry

The last items of interest to be seen on the grounds of St. Doolaghs are the rumoured three holy wells. The first is believed to be connected to the small octagonal structure known as the Baptistery, which has become famous in its own right as it can boast as being the last known surviving detached baptistery in the country. In 1609 the inside of this unique structure was decorated with frescoes of various saints popular in Ireland. These unfortunately no longer exist and are said to have been destroyed by a Sir Richard Bulkeley from Dunlavin on his return from the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

St. Catherine's Pond

St. Catherine’s Pond

Adjacent to the octagonal baptistry is an open-air pool with stone seating, known as St Catherine’s pond. It has been said  that the baptistry was for the baptism of boys and that the pool was for the baptism of girls, but it is more likely that the pool is for adult baptism by full immersion, with the small baptistery being reserved for the baptisim of children.

The Well House

The Well House

Just after St. Catherine’s pond there is another building which appears to be some sort of a well house. Unfortunatly at the end of the steps the enterance is blocked by an iron gate. All waters appear to have dried up and some say that the expansion works on the nearby road caused the well to dry up. Access to the wells is through the church grounds.


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About edmooneyphotography

Photographer, Blogger, Ruinhunter, with an unhealthy obsession for history, mythology and the arcane.
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15 Responses to St. Doolaghs Holy Well

  1. kiwiskan says:

    fascinating images. Thanks


  2. noelgreene says:

    Ed, very informative and thanks for sharing


  3. These really work in color. Another interesting post – thanks!


    • Cheers Rob, I never quite know when I start a new set what direction to go when editing. I guess it depends on what mood I’m in. Hopefully I’m making the right choices so far!


      • Indeed you are – and that is the great thing with digital – you do not have to make these choices on the front end – I used to carry three FM bodies around, just to be sure I had the correct film/ISO combo with me.


  4. Not only are these lovely photos, they tell a very interesting story. Thank you!


  5. LB says:

    Your posts always tell such interesting bits of history, and your photography helps us to visualize what might have been going on centuries ago.
    I love shadows and these on the stonework are great!


  6. Dwfmedia says:

    Nice work… Interesting too 🙂 cheers


  7. StillWalks says:

    Glad she was ok and would love to know what the problem was.


  8. StillWalks says:

    Happy Birthday 🙂


  9. wildninja says:

    I am fascinated by the sites you photograph. Thank you for giving us Americans a window into such places.


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