Tobar Mhuire (Mary’s Well), nestles in the North Mayo countryside, a stones throw from Rosserk Abbey. A grassy footpath brings you to a tranquil space, with stunning views of the River Moy and surrounding area.
Mary’s Well has a small vaulted building standing above it, and you will find a stone that reads “This chapel was built in honour of the Blessed Virgin, In the year of Our Lord 1799 by John Lynott of Rosserk”. According to local folklore, the Virgin Mary appeared at this site around 1680 .
Pattern day (Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary) is the 15th August, Mass is on the closest Sunday to this date. You will find numbered stones around Mary’s Well, which pilgrims and visitors use to recite prayers at these stations.
The ‘rag tree’ is an ancient pagan custom that was common in Ireland up to the late 1970s. The tradition for the most part has died out now, however it is still practiced within the Traveller community. With strong historical traditions, Travellers still maintain many of their ancient customs.
People tie rags or scraps of clothing to the tree from someone who is sick or has a problem. The belief is that as the rag rots away so does the affliction. Rags trees commonly associated with Holy Wells and are invariably Hawthorn trees. This is no exception at Mary’s Well, you will find a Hawthorn growing through the roof of the building above the well.
From the R314 Ballina to Killala road, follow signs for Rosserk Abbey. The final turn has Tobar Mhuire signposted. You will find a gravel car park on the right hand side, a few hundred meters before you reach Rosserk Abbey. From there signposts lead you down the grassy footpath to Mary’s Well.