This is what this site is all about. This is what attracted the Ancients to this spot and that is why the monastic settlement was established here in the 7th Century. I must say that I just watched the RTE program Secret Sites and it started out at St. Berrihert's Kyle (County Tipperary) and didn't even mention this spring. Incredible and I'm afraid the presenter totally failed to impress me in the first five minutes of the programme. Oh dear ... what a shame. Perhaps I will have to do one myself, to show people what it's really about!
The approach to this spring is a tricky one and I'm not going to give too much in the way of directions, because if you're meant to find this place you will. I really felt that it dragged me to it!
When you reach this sacred grove (I hate the word sacred usually, but here it really does apply!) you are treated to the most wonderful location. It could well be the best place I've ever, or will ever, visit. Within the grove, overhung and protected by trees, is a crescent shaped pool. I sat and watched the sun glinting through the winter-bare boughs and playing on the rippling surface of the water.
On the bed of the pond you can see little mini-geisers, pumping water and making the bed squirl and dance. At seemingly random intervals streams of bubbles rise up and it is these that make the surface ripple and dance.
It's very unusual for me to stay somewhere for two hours, but I easily managed that here. I'll be back, oh yes, I'll be back!
This is an explanation of (and a bit of a disclaimer for) the coordinates I provide.
Where a GPS figure is given this is the master for all other coordinates. According to my Garmin these are quite accurate.
Where there is no GPS figure the 6 figure grid reference is master for the others. This may not be very accurate as it could have come from the OS maps and could have been read by eye. Consequently, all other cordinates are going to have inaccuracies.
The calculation of Longitude and Latitude uses an algorithm that is not 100% accurate. The long/lat figures are used as a basis for calculating the UTM & ITM coordinates. Consequently, UTM & ITM coordinates are slightly out.
UTM is a global coordinate system - Universal Transverse Mercator - that is at the core of the GPS system.
ITM is the new coordinate system - Irish Transverse Mercator - that is more accurate and more GPS friendly than the Irish Grid Reference system. This will be used on the next generation of Irish OS maps.