The Abbey Well

A Local Norman landowner Robert Fitzrichard Balrain built an Abbey adjacent to a well on this site around the year 1334 and dedicated it to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This well may have given Kinsale it's original name "Fan na Tunraide" (slope of the fountain).

Somehow, he came into contact with a group of Carmelite pilgrim-hermits fleeing the Saracen invasion of the Holy Land. These pilgrim-hermits lived in cells dotted around the Wadi Cerith of the Prophet Elijah on Mount Carmel. They dedicated the settlement to "the Lady of the Place" the Blessed Virgin Mary. This site would therefore have been a 'god send for the the hermits as they developed into mendicant friars.

The reformation saw the Friars evicted from the Abbey and they found a new abode in a nearby corner-house on the junction of the Bandon and Rock-roads. The grand jury of the time referred to it as 'the olde masshouse'. They tended the peoples' spiritual needs from here and would have accompanied the people as they gathered for prayer and the Rosary in an effort to keep their faith alive during the harsh penal days. Wells in those times were places of reflection and prayer with the consequent gift of inner peace, serenity and healing. The people deemed this a "Holy Well" as a result. A tradition of emigrants leaving Kinsale departing with a bottle of Abbey Well water in their luggage. In this Year of Faith Renewal thankfully the local citizens have restored and refurbished it.

Some Related Images