Dupath Well - the largest and most impressive Well House in Cornwall

Dupath Well

Dupath Well is an almost complete granite Well House built over an ancient spring. It is said to have been built in 1510 by the Augustinian canons of St Germans Priory. It is the largest and most impressive Well House in Cornwall, constructed from grey granite blocks, with a roof made from long stones that run the length of the building, overlapping each another.

Çhibbyr Maghal - St Maughold's Well

St Patricks Well at Maughold

Christianity was brought to the Isle of Man (Manx: Mannin) by Irish missionaries. According to legend, Saint Patrick came to the Island first setting foot on a small island off the Isle of Man that still bears his name, St Patrick's Isle (Manx: Ellan Noo Perick). There are a number of early churches (Keeills) dedicated to Patrick (Manx: Pherick) and two parish churches. There are also a number of holy wells named after him. Although the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick is very important in the Manx Christian tradition.

St Patrick & Maughold

St Maughold

As we approach the feast Day of the Patron Saint of Ireland, the mind reels at the immensity of Patrick's presence in the English Speaking world. No doubt it is rooted in Irish emigration, but what explains this phenomenon? How is it that a Roman Briton came to be an icon of the modern Celtic world?

Revellers who participate in St Patrick's Day celebrations are measured in the tens of millions. Based on published attendance records for Manchester, Dublin, New York City, Philadelphia, Toronto and Sydney, approaching 5 million people will either participate in or attend the parades in these cities alone. The first "official" St. Patrick’s Day Parade took place in New York City in 1848, as the Great Famine raged in Ireland (1845-1852).  The first parade was organised by a consortium of Irish Aid Societies which had sprung up in New York in response to the increase in Irish immigrants to the city, many of whom were survivors of the Coffin Ships. Today New York's St. Patricks Day Parade has the distinction of being the world’s oldest civilian parade and the largest such event in the United States.

Saint Patrick: His Day, His Party and His Myth

Dublin's Saint Patrick's Day Parade

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh (Happy St Patrick's Day)!

To celebrate St Patrick's Day we are re-publishing this popular article.

There is no doubting the immensity of Patrick's presence in the English Speaking world. Without question it is rooted in Irish emigration, but what explains this phenomenon? How is it that a Roman Briton came to be an icon of the modern Celtic world?

As we approach the feast Day of the Patron Saint of Ireland, it is time for the annual nod to the revelers who participate in St Patrick's Day celebrations and to the mythic Saint Patrick himself.  One would like to imagine the throngs clogging the streets of most major cities of the “Anglo Saxon” world are soldiers of Celtic identity, but we know most are there because it is a party.  Participants in St. Patrick’s Day festivities are measured in the tens of millions. Based on published attendance records for Manchester, Dublin, New York City, Philadelphia, Toronto and Sydney, approaching 5 million people will either participate in or attend the parades in these cities alone.

A Welsh and Hungarian connection with the The Bards of Wales - A Walesi Bárdok by János Arany

János Arany

In Hungary, there is a famous ballad from the poem called "A Walesi Bárdok" - the Bards of Wales – written by János Arany in 1857. It tells of how in 1277 King Edward I of England attended a banquet in Montgomery Castle. It was held to celebrate his victories over the Welsh and he called for a Welsh bard to sing his praises. Bards were highly regarded in Welsh society at that time, and were thought to be descendants of the Celtic druids.

The praise of the foreign invading English King was something that the bards refused to do. They denounced him as a butcher with the blood of an entire nation on his hands. So, one by one, the King sends them to be burnt at the stake. Still not one of the proud Welsh Bards can be found to flatter him as their conqueror and he ends up murdering 500 in total. The English King returns to London after ravaging the Welsh countryside in a terrible act of revenge. It is said that the evil King is forever haunted by the shades of the dead bards, spending his days in terror of their torment.

Song of the Celts - The Wolfe Tones

The Wolfe Tones are an Irish band that incorporate elements of Irish traditional music in their songs.

Their name is taken from the Irish patriot Theobald Wolfe Tone, one of the leaders of the Irish Rebellion of 1798. The band date back to 1963 with performers Brian Warfield, Derek Warfield, Noel Nagle later joined by Tommy Byrne.

The Wolfe Tones continue to tour with a band comprising Brian Warfield, Noel Nagle and Tommy Byrne.

The Celtic patriotic song 'Song of the Celts' is sung notably by the Wolfe Tones. It points to the unity amongst Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Manx, Breton and Cornish ethnic peoples and regarded by many as an unofficial anthem of the Celtic people.

Cornish In The Landscape

Everyone must now be aware that there is much more visible Cornish language in the landscape than there was a few years ago.  Thousands of street name-plates have been installed since 2008, with many more to come, and it’s evident in many other ways, too.  While there may be a few grumbles, the general reaction to this has been extremely positive.  Incidentally, bilingual street signs cost no more than a single-language replacement, due to the laser-printing technique, and the use of an expert research panel of volunteers.

Eye Witness Account - Beware the Frenzy of the Fairy Ring - Limerick Residents Wary

Fairies

In its current newsletter, The Fairy Investigation Society has proffered an eye witness account of a Fairy Ring. The Fairy Investigation Society was founded in 1927 and was active until World War II, lapsed for a period of time and was again active from the 1950s until again falling dormant in the 1990s. The Society, whose membership roll once included Walt Disney and Hugh Dowding, the hero of the Battle of Britain, was comprised of “Fairy Believers” according to the group’s website. 

In 2013 the Society was again launched but in a departure from its long history now welcomes anyone with an interest in “Fairy Lore” rather than a belief in Fairies.

Brigid - Celtic Goddess To Christian Saint - The Feast of Imbolg

During the period of Christian conversion of Ireland in the 4th and 5th centuries, it was the strategy of monastic scholars to ensure an easy transition from Celtic to Christian belief. The disciples of Saint Patrick successfully deceived the Celts into thinking that the new faith of Rome was a mere extension of their traditional religion.

Christian missionaries incorporated elements of the peoples veneration of the Celtic Gods into Christian doctrine. The often used example of this religious shift is the fate of Brigid. Brigid was deftly transformed from a daughter of ‘The Dagda’ of the Tuatha Dé Danann into the Saint of the same name. In the early tales of the Christian Saint, Brigid is portrayed as the daughter of a Druidical household before her embrace of the new religion. The Druids were the priests of the pagan Celtic religion but were also akin to today’s upper middle classes: “The Druids were the professionals of pre Christian Celtic society. They comprised all the professions – doctors, lawyers, teachers, philosophers, ambassadors...(and priests of the Celtic Faith)” (Ellis). Thus with her conversion to Christianity, Brigid abandons the Celtic Gods and their priests, the Druids. To reinforce this transition the early church adopted the feast day of the Celtic Goddess Brigid, or Imbolg, to the feast day of the Christian saint.

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