Cranfield Church & Holy Well
Dawn to dusk
Free access all year round
On the shore of Lough Neagh at Churchtown Point lie the ruins of a 13th century Irish Church and St Olcan's Shrine. Near the shore, a few yards east of the church is a holy well which produces fine spring water and amber coloured crystals. Pilgrimages were made to Cranfield annually between May Eve and 29 June.
The Legend of the Holy Well
The amber pebbles contained within the well are believed to have great healing powers bestowed by St Olcan. They were thought to protect women during childbirth, men from drowning and homes from fire and burglary. In the last century emigrants to America believed that, if they swallowed a pebble, they would sail safely across the Atlantic Ocean.
Also to this day, the healing tradition of attaching rags to the overhanging trees and bushes continues. According to the custom, one must bathe the infected part of the body with a rag dipped in the well, pray and then tie the rag to a large overhanging tree. As the rag decays the affliction is supposed to disappear.