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Religious Sites of Arklow

Lady’s Well was situated near Arklow Rock and near to a church called Chapel Hogan. It is commonly known as The Grotto and in the past, it was traditional for people from the fisheries part of Arklow town to visit the well every year on 25th March. They would come to drink some water, say three hail Mary’s and carry home some water to drink, and would also tie a piece of cloth on a small sceach thorn bush which grows by the well.

This practice continues to this day even though the ‘grotto’ is now in the middle of the Roadstone Quarry site. The Quarry owners have maintained access to the site with provision of paths, but care is needed due to the heavy machinery in use in the area. The 25th of March is still observed and according to locals the Rosary is said here every Sunday.

St. Patrick’s Well is situated nearby in a field on the left-hand side of the Rock Road (coming from Arklow). An ancient mass path runs across the rock, about 150 yards from the seashore. This Mass pass was used by the people who lived near or on Clogga Strand, apparently to reach Chapel Logan, and later to Arklow Church, Midway along this path will be found St. Patrick's Well. It is now overgrown and not well visited by local people. The Mass path as it approaches Clogga Strand was called the "Priest's Gate'. A steep cliff, now washed by the sea, cuts off approach to this Gate, at the Clogga Strand entrance. Local tradition explains the meaning of Priests' Gate in the following manner. It is said that a priest, chased by yeomen in '98, galloped by the Mass path towards Clogga Strand. When he came to the cliff at the bottom of the path, he jumped his horse the twenty feet drop to the strand, and so escaped his bloodthirsty pursuers.

St. Iber’s Well was also situated near the Arklow Rock towards Clogga in a field in Moncrief’s townland, near an ancient graveyard believed to be a site of a monastery founded by an early Danish convert to Christianity. This well doesn’t appear to have been visited by the people of Arklow for quite some time.

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