Rag on twig votive offering, Ireland, 1900-1930

1900-1930 in Clareen

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Left hand side: A95431, Coloured beads from a rosary and lead crucifix attached to a twig, from St. Kieran's Well, a
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Two pieces of cotton rag wrapped around a twig from a conifer tree found at Kieran's Well, a sacred well with supposed healing properties, Clareen, Offaly, Ireland, Irish, 1900-1930

Found at St Kieran’s Well in Clareen, Offaly, Ireland, this rag wrapped around a twig was left in the hope of a receiving a cure for an illness – the well was believed to have healing properties. The rag may have been used to wash the diseased parts of the body (such as the eyes) and then left next to the well – usually tied with others to the branches of nearby trees, which became known as fairy trees. Some believed that when the rag has rotted away, the person would be cured. It is shown here with a rosary (A95431), another item found at the well.


Ethnography and Folk Medicine
Object Number:
cotton (textile), pine (wood), textile
votive offering

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