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St Patrick’s Chair and Well

St Patrick’s Chair and Well (also known as the Druids Chair and Well or St Brigid’s Well or St Brigit’s Well) lies within Altadeven Wood, not far from the Ulster Way footpath. The chair is a huge 2m high stone block, shaped like a throne. The Well, which is said to never run dry is another rock, buth this one has a 25cm bullaun, or depression in it.  This is filled with natural water. According to folklore, the water within such depressions or bullauns has healing powers and this well is supposed to be good at curing warts. Though it has been suggested that Druids would have found the site of particular interest, I do not know of any archaeological evidence suggesting this was a Celtic site of worship. This has not stopped the site being referred to as an ancient druidic centre though. St Patrick probably became associated with it as Altadaven translates as 'The Demon Cliff' and the saint was said to have driven demonic creatures over it. This tale is also attributed to St Brigid. There are two Rag Trees between the chair and well where offerings have been tied.

I came across an account of a strange experience at St Patrick’s Chair, citing the source as the United Kingdom UFO Bulletin 1997. The event took place in September 1996 but was attributed to having taken place in County Moneghan, which is a very short distance away, just over the border. Lawrence John (46 years) and his dog were exploring around the rocks near St Patrick’s Chair when he was surrounded in a bright, blinding white light. He then found himself confronted by several five foot tall, grey humanoids wearing caftans and floating above the ground. The humanoids and John were outside of what was called a large craft, which he was taken inside.  There were about 50 of these humanoids in total, aboard the craft, communicating telepathically. After some time, he found himself and dog alone by the stones and the alien spacecraft gone.

Given the tree cover I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the map below.

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