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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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 😉

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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 ❤

    1. Thank you so much! 🙂 These are my last days with my grandkiddies, and I am sorry for the late replies and visits. Next week I will be back home, back to my routine. Have a great weekend in the wonderful land of my dreams 🙂

  4. The beautiful, lush environment comes to life with your photos ~ what an amazing place. And I also very much like the photo/view of the place as it was 100 years ago, and I am with you, I do like the original look… However, the history of the place can be seen so well with your series ~ a dreary yet alive place.

    1. Thank you so much for taking the walk. History is something to learn from, and I always like to think that no one lived their life in vain, and everything has a purpose.

  5. Absolutely lovely! Your photos took me there but now I want to visit in person, lol! I like the mood black and white images brought for the cemetery – respect and mystery.

  6. Hello there dear Inese… such great photographs… love the ducks and seeing how the St Patrick’s Well site has changed as time goes by!… Sending love and best wishes. Aquileana 🙂

  7. This looks like a lovely place. I love the picture of the well, with the reflexion of the trees in it and to see the little feet of the ducklings (the waster is so clear !_. I like the effects you’ve had on some of the pictures, very nice results.

    1. Thank you so much! I did some lens distortion to separate the images from photographer and give them the life of their own 🙂 Just to add to the mystery of the places 🙂

  8. So much to love here–particularly the peace found in water. I can lose myself in these images and breathe the damp air and listen to the ripples touch the stones…
    Just when I think you can’t outdo yourself, Friend, you up and do it. Again. 🙂 xxxx

    1. Jean, you would love to sit there and enjoy the tranquility. Crystal clear water runs from the pond to the Marlfield lake for centuries. You feel these centuries in the air 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! Another week and I have to go home. My daughter has to be on medications one more month. The little one is grand, eating and growing 🙂

      1. Ok. One more month is till a long time, but it probably means she is out of the woods now. What a relief. At least you will leave knowing she is getting better. And I’m sure the little one is great “medicine”. Aren’t they adorable at that age? (When they sleep?)

  9. Oh what a joyful walk Inese! Marl field village really has lots to offer if you ask me:) I especially loved all the water features and ponds. I love how they have incorporated the window of the old Abbey into the newer Marlfield church.

    1. Thank you so much, Inger! You are always traveling off the beaten paths and discover the features hidden from a regular tourist. This village is not marked as a touristy place, but it has an interesting history, and the water in the well is simply delicious 🙂 Worth to visit 🙂

  10. Oh my, I THOROUGHLY enjoyed the walk and would like to do it in person some time. I think part of my being is from the area you so beautifully photograph. It brings on a sense of peace and nostalgia and, yes, spiritualism. (Or mysticism?)

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by! This walk is truly enjoyable, and feeding the ducks is a popular pastime. Patrick’s Well is a special place, where you can drink a glass of water and meditate ‘in the early morning hours, when the dew is on the flowers’ 🙂

  11. Your b&w photos of the cemetery were very effective and scary. That Yew tree is magnificent and how nice that you check on it yearly. I’m sure it loses a few leaves when it sees you — how excited it must get!

    1. Creepy pictures just for you, Dead D! I love to visit the tree when I am around. It is a tradition. I think that something that big and old has to be alive and intelligent enough to somehow respond to my visits 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! The dog is long gone, but it was a very remarkable dog – he was old and blind, but every day he walked familiar path, his routine 🙂 He would come to the tiny parking lot at the Well, and stand there, then turn back and walk to the main road. The stop sign was the place where the dog would stop, listen, walk to the other side of the road and return to his home. As we drive on the left side of the road, his behavior was perfectly correct 🙂

  12. Indeed, I enjoyed that walk very much. Your photography is splendid and, as evidenced by the quality of those pictures, has been splendid for many years!
    Oooo, that graveyard was creepy, made more so by being in black and white, or rather sepia. Made me think of yellowed skulls and bones.

    1. Thank you so much, Sarah. The graveyard is creepy indeed. Normally there is no one else but me, but sometimes a caretaker emerges from the weeds, and it is always scary 🙂

  13. I enjoy the virtual walk around Marlfield, Inese. It seems there are a lot of interesting places to visit in the area. I particularly liked the idea of a church that is shared between two different denominations. It’s wonderful that relations between the two are so good. 🙂

    1. Thank you for joining me, Bun. This is a very popular walk that takes just a little longer than an hour. The church is used rarely, but fairly 😉
      Patrick’s well is the most popular place, and the water is delicious.

  14. Breathtaking shots! You certainly know how to bring each photo to life. I especially loved that photograph of the church with the red door — the greenery surrounding the crimson was stunning. ⛪️

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment! I am so sorry for the late reply – it is my last week with my family and we still have so many things to do… These two months have been busy.
      The door is a magnet for photographers 🙂

  15. Absolutely stunning Inese. What a beautiful place and your photographs capture it perfectly. So good of you to share this blog when I bet your own wee heart is not so light xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment! All these blogs were written long ago, and scheduled. Now I barely have time to answer and occasionally visit… One more week with my family, and then I am back home, back to my routine… Sad…
      We are getting better here, thank you ❤
      Have a lovely week, I hope September treats you well 🙂 I haven't seen a drop of rain since July 🙂

    2. My darling, have a lovely lovely week with your darlings before you come home to plenty rain. It is all it has been doing here. And I guess it will be rain in other ways if you are sad. I hope everyone is good now and nothing spoils your week. xxxx.

      1. Thank you so much! Cannot believe it is the time to fly back home. Still no rain here. It is 9pm, and +26C. Isn’t it crazy. It seems that the weather draws a line between ‘here’ and ‘there’ in my life.
        Hope you have a happy week regardless of weather xxxxxx

        1. Oh dear Inese, I hope that weather business is not to do with you being sad when you come back to this zone. May you get back to your darlings sooner than you think xxxxxxxxxxx

        2. Don’t blame you,. You know our wee grandbabba lives five mins away but the days we look after him I give him 100 kisses. At least. In fact any time i see him I give him 100 kisses. These are for the days in life, when I cannot be by his side. One for each day of his life. .

    1. Absolutely lovely. All these places are in the walking distance from each other, and if you don’t stop to feed the ducks you can make this round trip in an hour.

  16. The graveyard looks quite scary in B&W indeed. I suspect in color the place isn’t look bad. As the matter of fact, it seems quite peaceful place and good for reflecting.

    I love picture of Marlfield on the deep green lawn. It is pleasing to look.

    Very nice post of these places.

    1. Thank you so much! The place looks quite dreary with that old wall around. There is a path along the wall, but the middle of the graveyard is overcome with weeds. I love the old tree in the back of the graveyard and guess it is there since the medieval times.

        1. How strange, I didn’t know about the swans. I was sure you also have plenty. Marlfield lake is a home to two nests every year. Where they go after they grow up I don’t know.

  17. Such an interesting walk and what a variety of things to see and think about. I was struck by the fact that the well was tear shaped, and paused over that beautiful window on the back wall of the church. In the past when I traveled I always especially loved to visit the very old churches and cathedrals. Thanks for showing us all of this, Inese.

    1. Thank you so much, Cynthia! Tear-shaped, yes, I don’t really understand why. The original site didn’t have any particular shape.
      The window is beautiful indeed, and one can say that it is older than the church itself. Yet, until the last decade, the wall and the window were obstructed with weeds and bushes. I took this picture after a major clean-up in 2008.

  18. It is so very beautiful in Marlfield Village! It’s fascinating when you say something was built in the 1600’s. Canada’s earliest European settlement was in 1608, and there is nothing left of that. We don’t even have 1 real castle in Canada. Casa Loma is our closest pretend castle.
    Of course the indigenous were here first. We are finally trying to atone for stealing their land & way of life.

    1. Most of the castles and big family estates were purposely destroyed after there was no one to maintain them. I can think of at least one demolition that took place in the 1960s. Beautiful castle that no one wanted to buy, was just blown up.

    1. Thank you Bernadette! It is a lovely place. On the right side is River Suir, and on the left side is a huge green field with grazing cattle, rabbits and sometimes foxes.

          1. I’ll return end of October – at least for a few days, mainly Dublin and Skerries. In February 2017, Clonmel has a good chance, Inese. Going away is always sad – returning means celebration! 😀

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