St. Colmcille’s Well (Swords, Ireland)

Sord Chomcille Well – St. Colmcille Well, Swords, Ireland

Sord Chomcille Well – St. Colmcille or St. Columb’s Well
Well Road, Swords, Ireland

This is the infamous holy well that “Swords” was named after. It was here that St. Colmcille came in 560 C.E., remarked of its clear or pure waters (Irish: Sord), and blessed the waters making it a holy well. The water was so clear that it was described as being almost invisible and was renowned for its curative properties for sore eyes.

The very founding place name point of interest of this town sits in disrepair, in a locked chamber, crunched between a private parking space and apartment complexes. It is so disregarded and unknown that when inquiring at the historical society’s information center, asking two volunteers in 2014 where we could find the well – they dumbfoundedly looked at each other not knowing what I meant by “holy well”. I could only hope that the city and its historical society has since taken better interest and caretaking of this important monument in the city.

The legend goes is that St. Colmcille founded the Holy Well by taking a “Giant Step” from the Round Tower and landing at the spot where this well is. Of course, this 1950s and 1960’s child’s tale precluding the simple humble St. Colmcille was indeed a giant which he was not. Originally this was one of the town’s wells where residents of Swords would go, especially during summer months when the town’s water pumps ran dry, bringing home water for cooking and washing. Then as a “holy well” pilgrims would attend the well for small amounts to take home to use to bless their homes. It was eventually placed in a well house behind a steel door with a water pump installed street side. The well was refurbished in 1991 by the Swords Historical Society to ensure that the well remains a lasting memorial to the Patron of Swords.

Location: pump and well : N 53° 31.336 W 006° 04.942; UTM 29U E 693408 N 5934332. Waymark Code: WM3MMN off of Well Road in the heart of Swords, Ireland. Just down the street across from Lord Mayor’s Well Bar and Grill.


  • unknown St. Colmcille’s Well, Swords. Website referenced 12/23/15 at
  • unknown St. Colmcille’s Well. Website referenced 12/23/15 at
Sord Chomcille Well – St. Colmcille Well – holy well by bar/grill
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