Excursion to ‘The City’ and Tubrid

Last week Vickie Langan (artist, soundy person and all round lady) and I visited two holy wells, The City, near Rathmore, Kerry and Tubrid, Millstreet, Cork. Below are a number of photos, videos and audio recordings, punctuated with text, that came out of the excursion. I also have a post on Researching with your Smartphone, based on our previous excursion.

This photo of the well, which was posted while we were on site, shows the cement structure along with a cup and glass. Unlike many other wells, the one at the City is not adorned with many votive offerings or extra materials. Like the site itself, it has a certain rawness. On a wind swept Tuesday in February, with the threat of serious rain, we had the places to ourselves.

Using the Soundcloud App on my phone, I took several recordings of the cup in the water, you can hear me lifting it, submerging it, pouring out some water and replacing it. This simple activity is central to these wells.

Vicky with her hydrophone, a superb piece of equipment for working with wells.

The altar at Tubrid holy well, on the Rathmore side of Millstreet. The altar is sheltered by a structure with offerings, signs and memorial cards throughout.


This short video of the candles on the altar indicate the recent visits by numerous people that day. Each one serving as an elemental remnant of a believer’s intentions and memories.

The site is very well maintained, as is demonstrated by this rack made especially to hold the cups used to drink the water and the other structures. It is at this point, where the water bubbling up in the well flows out, that people collect and drink the water.


Another recording using the SoundCloud App, of the water flowing.

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