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Seven Wonders of Fore

Seven Wonders of Fore

When you visit the village of Fore and roam the surrounding fields, you’ll enjoy a first hand experience with origins of traditional Irish folklore tales that have been around for more than a thousand years.

Just a few kilometres from Castlepollard, this ancient slice of Ireland’s heritage revolves around the tales of Saint Fechin.

Founder of the village’s Benedictine monastery during the seventh century, Fechin was a man of faith who influenced the surrounding area in seven miraculous ways, collectively known as the Seven Wonders of Fore.

The Seven Wonders

The Monastery itself is considered one of the wonders. Its ruins constitute the only Benedictine site remaining in the entire country. Their strong presence and fortress-like appearance give the impression that the building, in its time, was more of a castle than a house of prayer. Legend says that it was built on a rock in the centre of a quaking bog.

The ruins of the monastery represent only a small portion of St. Fechin’s achievements. Over the centuries, pilgrims have come to visit the sites and see evidence of the ‘seven wonders’ that still exists today, including:

  • The Water that Flows Uphill – St. Fechin was said to have used his staff to coerce water to flow uphill instead of down.
  • St Fechin’s Mill – St. Fechin reportedly induced water to flow from the ground and operate a mill that had no visible water supply.
  • The Tree that Will Not Burn is also known as the money tree, as pilgrims have embedded copper coins in its surface for centuries.
  • Near the tree, you’ll see St. Fechin’s Holy Well, which contains Water that Will Never Boil.
  • Another wonder located nearby is in the ruins of a 12th Century Church whose centre post, decorated by an ornate Greek cross carved into the stone, was said to rise into place by the power of St Fechin’s prayers alone.

You can also visit the Hermit’s Cell, also known as Anchorite in Stone, encased in a family mausoleum nearby. And don’t miss the Abbey Pub, where you can learn more about the Seven Wonders, and view original works created by local artists.

About Michael Heraghty

Michael Heraghty is a user experience designer who grew up in the beautiful county of Sligo in the West of Ireland. He now lives in Dublin, with his wife and three daughters.