St Moling’s well is situated to the north of the ancient monastic site in St Mullin`s in County Carlow.
The well is located beside the millrace, said to have been dug singlehandedly by St Moling over a period of several years. When it was completed St Moling consecrated the millrace and it, together with the holy well, became a site of pilgrimage.
The well can be easily accessed through the churchyard or by road. There is a car park across the road from the entrance to the well.
St Moling’s well is a stone built four walled roofless structure. There is a narrow doorway through which pilgrims enter the well. It is said that seven springs feed the well, and so there is a constant flow of water that enters through two slits at the rear of the building into a stone font. Recent research has shown this to be the remains of a baptismal church built c. 1100, as part of the regularising of baptismal practices in the Irish church at that time.
The water from the well is thought to be a cure in particular for ailments of the head, but cures for a wide variety of ailments of the mind and body have been attributed to the holy well.
Traditionally it was not common for offerings to be left at St Moling’s well. However, in the past on Pattern day there were often donations made for the upkeep of the well. In present times, however, it has become more common for small tokens to be left inside the well walls. Holy pictures, small statues and small personal items belonging to babies or children have begun to be left.
The Pattern day in St Mullins is traditionally held on the Sunday nearest to the 25th July, the feast of St James, patron saint of pilgrims. There is a little Pattern on July 25th. The feast of St Moling is celebrated in St Mullins on the 17th June.
Location of St Moling’s Well:
Below my photos taken in July 2021.