Marlfield village, Clonmel

Marlfield village on the outskirts of Clonmel might be just a small dot on the map, but at least three most visited – and loved – places are there, and it is where I am going to take you this time. In the first picture, you see the St Patrick’s Well site as it looks after the major remodeling and landscaping that took place in the 1960s. The works were funded by the generous donations from the Mayor of Los Angeles Sam Yorty whose mother was native of Clonmel, Mr Arman Hammer and the Irish Israeli society from South California.

This is how the place looked 100 years ago. A large ash tree was growing at the side of the well that could be accessed by walking on the stones through the marshy land ( click on the image to see the source). To be honest, I do like the original look…


Tear-shaped stone wall surrounds the well. The sight of ripples on the surface of the water both in the well and in the pool makes you look up and check if it is raining. The water is bubbling up from hundreds of tiny springs, and it is so clear that you can bring a cup with you and drink it right there.

St Patrick's Well

Spring water flows from the well through the hollowed stones. Similar medieval design is to be seen in St Brigid’s Well, Co Kildare.

St Patrick's Well

A simple sandstone cross is dated to the 5-8th century. The parish church was built in the 17th century, on the site of a much earlier monastic building –  some fragments of it are visible in the masonry of the walls.

2015-10 patr 050

Inside the chapel there is an altar tomb of Nicholas White who died in 1622, and the White family Coat of Arms. The tomb was brought here in 1805, and there is no body inside it.

St Patricks Well

A flight of stone steps connects this mystical place with the rest of the world, and it is also great for taking photographs from different angles and vantage points.

2015-10 patr 041

More images and stories about St Patrick’s Well in my blog from last year. 

This is the road between the holy well and the village. We will walk this road all the way down to the banks of River Suir.

Marlfield road

This picture was taken from another favorite place – Sandybanks. Well, a former favorite place, because a couple of years ago Clonmel City Council announced their decision to withdraw the summer Lifeguard Service from this very popular bathing spot. It was a shock to the locals when they learned that their favorite traditional bathing area ‘was not suitable for swimming’. Somehow they suspected that the decision had more to do with cutting costs than with the quality of the water.

River Suir

No bathing, so we just take a picture and walk back.

Just a minute walk from the Sandybanks there is an old church that is friendly shared between both Roman Catholics and Church of Ireland. Beautiful avenue of Horse Chestnut trees and the red door always attract photographers.

marlf 089

Sometimes I walk around the graveyard and read gravestones, but the main reason is that I check on the old Yew tree.

marlf 097

There is that tree, in the back of the graveyard. It takes three people to put their arms around it. I am coming to check on it once a year. It is quite scary to walk there – the reason why I converted the pictures to B&W 😉

marlf 106

Marlfield church was built in 1818 on the site of the 12th century Cistercian Abbey. St Patrick’s Well and the church also belonged to the Abbey until it was dissolved in the 16th century. This beautiful window on the back wall of the Marlfield church is the only remnant of the original Abbey that was incorporated into the newer building.

Marlfield church

After the Siege of Clonmel in 1650 the lands of Marlfield, successfully farmed by Cistercian monks for centuries, were bought by the Bagwell family. Marlfield House was completed in 1785 by Colonell John Bagwell. The house was rebuilt after the fire in 1923. The central part of the house is used as an apartment complex, and there is also a conference hall that too can be rented.

Marlfield House

The magnificent conservatory was built by Richard Turner who designed the Botanic gardens in Belfast and Dublin.

Marlfield House

Last but not least favorite is Marlfield Lake. The lake covers six hectares in size, and the water is flowing into it from the St Patrick’s Well, where we began our tour.

Marlfield lake

Generations of local residents have been coming here and feeding generations of the waterfowl since the late 1700s when the lake was developed from a swamp by Stephen Moore.



Many species are breeding here, some ducks I have never seen before. There are many swans. The cygnets are shy, but the older birds often start a fight.

swan signets



When a visitor with some bread shows up, have your cameras ready.


There is a tiny picnic area, but you have to keep in mind that the road along the lake is just a regular road, and it can be quite busy.


These photographs were taken over the years, in different seasons.

Thank you for visiting Marlfield village! Hope you enjoyed the walk.

inesemjphotographyHave a wonderful weekend!


  1. truly beautiful walk – and as you can tell – I am getting caught up on some visits this week – so that is why I am leaving so many comments and like s- hope you do not mind this big visit – 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! I am doing the same – I barely have time to visit and let alone comment, but every two-three weeks I read more than one post, and share my thoughts 🙂

      1. well thanks for sharing that – and this blogger (Sadie) used to do this and I find there is something nice about it right now.
        It is like a longer lunch visit as opposed to coffee or water cooler check in. ha!
        Guess it depends on the seasons in our lives – eh?

  2. A really lovely and mystical place to visit, Inese, and possibly not one that visitors from elsewhere would know about – unless it’s in holiday advertising brochures. I agree that the original look of the well has a great appeal, but now it’s more accessible to people. Cost-cuts are behind the withdrawal of so many public services, and it’s such a shame that the Lifeguard Service has been halted at Sandybanks. I can imagine how popular it was, particularly on lovely summer days. Wonderful photos and it’s lovely to see the waterfowl at play.

    1. Thank you so much, Millie! Sandybanks was a local Riviera 🙂
      I am sorry for the late reply – just returned from my long leave, and my jet lag is killing me.

      1. Hi Inese. I didn’t expect a reply from you for a while! I read in your last post that you’d be going home soon – and you should have given yourself time to recover before replying to comments! Jet lag takes a bit of getting over. Different time zones are a real pain! Lol

        1. Oh yes, especially if you have things to do and cannot just sleep all the day 🙂 I would love to sleep all the day because I don’t sleep at night, still. Will take me another 4 days to recover.

      1. I did Inese so much. I’d love to be able to visit more places but here in the UK and abroad, your lovely posts take we wandering to places which I might not experience. Thank you so much. 🙂

  3. Another wonderful walk with you, Inese! Thank you sooo much for sharing your beautiful pictures with us all – always makes me feel like Ireland isn´t that far away and I only need a click to make it come nearer 😉 The St. Patrick´s Well is beautiful, although I also think that 100 years earlier it looked even more so 😉
    Love the cows and the red door! Oh, and those graveyard pics – really creepily lovely! 🙂 The b/w suits them perfectly! Ah, and those lovely cygnets… And how majestic the fighting swans lool on their way across the water – I kind of feel the need to catch those graceful wings with my brush 😉 Wish you a very beautiful and inspiring weekend, my dear friend!!! 🙂 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ❤

    1. Thank you so much for taking a walk and commenting, Sarah! I have two more scheduled posts, and then I will be back and catch up. These are my last days with my family before I return home, and I don’t want to miss a minute with my grandchildren. Thank you again for bearing with me ! ❤ xxxxxxxxx

      1. You’re very welcome, Inese! 🙂 Enjoy your days with your family and your beautiful grandchildren! There’s nothing more important than that!! 🙂 Looking so much forward to your next blog posts – scheduled or not, they are always brilliant! 😀 xxxxxxxx ❤

Comments are closed.