Tobar na Gaoithe Tuath, Iona, Argyll

Holy Well:  OS Grid Reference – NM 275 252

Also Known as:

  1. Well of the North Wind


A sacred well site that appears to have gone missing sometime in the 20th century — as has its compatriot, the Well of the South Wind.  F.M. McNeill (1954) wrote that,

“this is one of the magic wells of antiquity. It lies north of Cnoc nam Bradhan, not far from the Hermit’s Cell. Here, in olden times, sailors and others brought offerings to charm up a wind from the north.”

No doubt this heathen water source is known to a few old locals.  The magickal act of invoking the wind both here and at its compatriot seems to hint at ancient pre-christian rites that have thankfully been recorded before they were finally vanquished. (the grid-reference cited above is an approximation)


  1. McNeill, F.M., Iona: A History of the Island, Blackie & Sons: Glasgow 1954.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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