St Cooey’s Wells, Portaferry

7th century mystical wells with healing properties (maybe)

The recently renovated wells can be found in proximity to Tara Bay, approximately 2 miles southeast of Portaferry, nestled beneath the shadow of Tieveshilly Hill. While no documented evidence has surfaced regarding St. Cooey, his name resonates across various local landmarks, including Lough Cowey. The church at St. Cooey's Wells is believed to trace its origins back to the 7th century, with only the foundational stones standing as silent witnesses today.

In the mid-1970s, the local parish undertook extensive restoration efforts, culminating in the construction of a contemporary altar to house some of the historic stones. An annual pilgrimage to the site is a tradition, observed on the Sunday closest to the feast of Saints Peter and Paul. Within the serene, wooded dell, the Washing, Eye, and Drinking wells are reputed to possess healing properties, a belief underscored by the multitude of "rags" adorning nearby thorn trees. A path from the wells meanders through a reedbed to the shore, where worn hollows in a rock slab are said to mark the sacred spot where St. Cooey once knelt in prayer.


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4 Ballyquintin Rd, Portaferry, Portaferry, BT22 1RF

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