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Struell Wells.

One and a half miles East of Downpatrick in County Down are Struell Wells, (Srúthail is Irish for 'stream') these are associated with St Patrick. The earliest reference to then is in 1306 although none of the building are earlier than 1600. A fast flowing stream runs partly under ground, through the secluded, rocky valley, and along it are ranged five buildings. Furthest NW is the shell of a mid 18th century church, never completed, a chapel was listed here in the 1306 taxation roll.

Nearby is the Eye Well which is rectangular with a pyramidal corbelled roof. The Drinking Well, is circular with a doomed vault built on wicker centering. To the SE the stone roofed Men's Bath house has a dressing room with seats leading to the bath house. A third room also with seats served as a dressing room to the adjoining Woman's Bath house now roofless. Pilgrimage's to the site were well documented from the 16th to 19th centuries.

There is no certainty about the earliest date of this site there are records of a chapel on the site in about 1300, St Patrick is associated with the site so it probably dates from the 5th century. It is also possible that this may have been a pagan site which was taken over with the arrival of Christianity. A Papal Nuncio visiting Ireland in 1517 seems to have visited the site. In 1643 a Father MacCana described his visit. There are detailed accounts of pilgrimages in the mid 18th century, and stations were still performed here in the late 19th century.

All surviving buildings on the site are post medieval after 1600. The ruined chapel dates from about 1750 it was built to replace an earlier building. This new building appears never to have been completed.




View of the site from the uncompleted church looking south
showing the bathhouses in the background.



Men's Bath House from the car park.




Men's bath house with women's bath house in the background.
See plan of both below.



Plan's and elevation's.

Please feel free to use any of these image's.
For education or on a non commercial web site.lan and elevation of men's and women's bath hoses.

Below Overall site plan. Not very clear. Sorry!