St Patrick’s Well Ballyshannon
Posted on: June 13, 2016
Take a trip down Abbeylands outside Ballyshannon along the Wild Atlantic Way and you will walk back into time!
As you pass the Abbey Graveyard and the ruins of cistern Abbey Assaroe dating back to the 12th century, nearby you will find St Patrick’s Well – wells were often located near churches. St Patrick’s statue, well and stations are visited by both pilgrims and visitors on a daily basis. The stations of the cross are often practiced by pilgrims (moving around the beds – large concrete boulders with cross on the top). Upon completion, a rag, symbol or medal is often left on a bush beside the well.
Roman Catholics celebrate Mass at St Patrick’s well on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on 15th August every year. All aspects of the site can be enjoyed by all, being a lovely spot overlooking Donegal Bay!
Around the corner you will find Abbey Mill Wheel which was restored in 1989 by Abbey Mill Restoration Trust. The site is from Cromwellian times. There are two mills – upper flax mill and lower scrutching mill which were worked by the Monks from nearby Abbey Assaroe. The coffee shop now in one of the houses and is open during the summer months with fresh homebaking to be enjoyed!
Catsby Cave is hidden under the trees along the river – a place where Mass was said during Penal Times when it was forbidden for Catholics to
practice their religion. The cave is large enough for one person, perhaps the Priest to say Mass with his flock gathered around the cave. Note the two hollows carved out of the rock – one for holy water and the other for Blessed Salt.
Take a stroll down the Abbey Lane and you will find the beginning of the Creevy Shore Walk (10 miles long) or a quiet spot for a big of fishing!