The Wellspring of Health

Kentstown water 3

On the road leading from Kentstown to Balrath, County Meath can be seen this drinking fountain which, as the inscription explains, was erected by Sir William Somerville in 1855. Look at the way creeping moss has extended the lion’s beard all the way to the basin. The water for this amenity comes from a well some miles distant from which, according to ancient legend, St Patrick drank while on his way from Slane to Tara.
Sir William Somerville (1802-1873) was a Liberal politician who served as Chief Secretary for Ireland from 1847-1852; just over a decade later he was made a peer as Lord Athlumney. The fountain is set into the demesne wall of what was once his family seat, also called Somerville.

2 comments on “The Wellspring of Health

  1. Anna Harrison says:

    Is it safe to drink this water and what are the benefits

    • Thank you for getting in touch. I have never drunk the water from this spring, but since it was created to give local people clean water I imagine that would have been its benefits: I can’t testify to whether such is still the case…

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