St Columba's Well
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Holy well used by St Columba
The well was believed by locals to have healing properties, and they left small offerings beside the spring. For many years a silver cup hung beside the well.
The story of St Columba on Colonsay makes fascinating reading. Apparently, Columba landed on Colonsay after fleeing Ireland, but when he realized that on a clear day he could still see the Irish coast from Colonsay, he moved on to found his monastery on Iona.
It is a bit tricky to find the holy well; I had to ask for directions from my landlady on Colonsay. First, follow the B8608 to Kiloran Bay. Just before the bay, there is a drive to the right signed to Balnahard. Park inside the fence and follow the signed track past the end of Kiloran Bay.
As the path rises steeply and turns west at the top of Kiloran Bay there are high cliffs to your left. About 20 metres below the path is a turf-covered stone arch that has been erected over the wellhead. The well is really a natural spring with masonry walls and a stone slab as a capstone. It is 1.2m deep by 0.8m wide, and the opening faces almost due west.
Apart from its historical significance, the sheer beauty of the surroundings makes St Columba's Well worth a visit.
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About St Columba's Well
Address: Balnahard, Isle of Colonsay, Argyll and Bute, Scotland
Attraction Type: Prehistoric Site
Location: Follow the Balnahard track to the north end of Kiloran Bay. The well is just below the road.
St Columba's Well Photos
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Kiloran Bay Beach - 0.5 miles (Countryside)
Colonsay Whale Sculpture - 0.5 miles (Countryside)
Clach A'Pheanais (Balnahard) Standing Stone - 1.3 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Cill Chaitriona - 1.3 miles (Historic Church)
Tobar Oran Sculptured Stone - 1.4 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Colonsay House Gardens - 1.4 miles (Garden)
Balnahard Bay Beach (Traigh Ban) - 1.7 miles (Countryside)
Buaile Riabhach Stone Circle - 2.9 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Nearest Holiday Cottages to St Columba's Well:
Nearby accommodation is calculated 'as the crow flies' from St Columba's Well. 'Nearest' may involve a long drive up and down glens or, if you are near the coast, may include a ferry ride! Please check the property map to make sure the location is right for you.