St Brigid’s Well & Exit 13

Just off the M7 (the primary road between Dublin and Limerick/Cork), lies St Brigid’s Well. This is a very active site associated with one of the most prominent Irish saints. While Feb 1st is the main day to visit the well, it receives pilgrims throughout the year.

The well is only a few minutes from Exit 13 on the motorway, a junction more associated with the adjacent Kildare Village Outlet Centre. This position presents a geographical juxtaposition between the modern, flowing motorway and the stationary, sedate well. Two aspects of Irish social and cultural life overlap here. The new roadway designed to seamlessly connect major urban areas, with the purpose built retail centre, boasting world-famous brands, is a newer ‘Celtic Tiger’ Ireland. While, St Brigid’s Well, a site off heritage and spiritual/religious activities, seems to be of an older, vernacular Ireland. However, there isn’t a tension, more of a co-existence. People visit either, both, and neither. Perhaps, approaching Exit 13, you might consider this and what you will do.

St Brigid's Well, enclosed by a low circular stone wall.

St Brigid’s Well, enclosed by a low circular stone wall.

A rag tree by the well, with a selection of fabrics, tokens, and other items hanging off a branch.

A rag tree by the well, with a selection of fabrics, tokens, and other items hanging off a branch.

A statue of the saint by a modern structuring housing votive offerings.

A statue of the saint by a modern structuring housing votive offerings.

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