I have been taking photographs of Holy Wells from some time but usually only if there happens to be one where I am photographing other sites. Then I will get to it and take photographs. But recently I was what I can only describe as “bitten” by a desire to find them all.
When I was initially “bitten” I thought that maybe I would have about fifty or so to find and photograph. How wrong was I? The true figure is probably around 150. Even with all my travels around Donegal I had no idea there were so many! This could take some time. Certainly a much longer than I first envisaged.
Some, of course, are easy to find. Many others, not so. I am eternally grateful to have a husband who is willing and able to assist me on this journey. He spends many hours poring over old maps trying to pin point the location of old Holy Wells, some of which, on searching the area they had once been, I find have disappeared either through development in the area or simply have been allowed to fall in and collapse and get overgrown and, until now, mostly forgotten.
I want too to find information and the location of those Holy Wells now no longer there too. I fear if I don’t they will disappear into antiquity and become forgotten. If I note them then at least there is proof and information they once existed and were probably very important to people in their area many years ago.
It is a laborious task. It takes at least one week to research, find, then travel to to photograph every two Holy Wells. At least. Of course some were quicker but generally it needs patience, not something I am blessed in abundance with but I am determined too so will soldier on in my quest … in search of the Holy Wells of Donegal.
CAN YOU HELP?
If you know of a Holy Well in your area, or have any folklore you have heard about any Donegal Holy Well, or indeed old photographs of any of them, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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