St Patrick’s Chair and Well (also known as the Druids Chair and Well, or St Brigid’s / Brigit’s Well) is an ancient and powerful place within woodland at Altadavin in Co. Tyrone. This was an important Druid site in the days before Christianity. St Patrick is said to have banished pagans from here to a nearby lake, hence the name of the place; “Altadavin”, translated to English means “The Demon Cliff”.
The chair is a huge 2m high stone block, shaped like a throne. Even if there were no signs, and you just stumbled on it in the forest, the sight of such a massive chair would almost tell its own story. It is such a powerful sight. Surrounded by tall trees that sway and bow, the sound of nothing but birdsong, the sun dappling through the holly trees, tells you that this is a very special place indeed.
The Well, which is said to never run dry, is a rock with a 25cm bullaun, or depression in it. This is filled with natural water and has healing powers. There are clooties hanging from the branches here, evocative of the many people who come here to pray and ask for healing. For the same reason, there are flowers, holy relics and precious belongings left next to the Chair, and you can’t help but be moved by the sight, and wonder about the storoes of the people who come here. All are signs that people visit in pilgrimage, to say their own prayers or make wishes. This, to me, sustains the power of the place too. It is all very peaceful and calming, equally, you can feel the energies of the place, and it’s easy to visualise this being an ancient and special site.
So come to this place to feel the energy and emotion of it for yourself. Sit on the Chair and make a wish. They say as long as you don’t reveal it to anyone, it will come true.