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Rowan O’Neill

Drawing from the Well

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  • £6

This book will be released in April 2023.

Pre-orders are charged at time of order and the book will be posted to you as soon as it becomes available.


Holy Wells of Wexford and Pembrokeshire: Volume Five

Trilingual in English, Welsh and Irish


Drawing from the Well takes us on a personal journey; a pilgrimage from west Wales to Wexford seeking a deeper understanding of ancestry, roots and inheritance. What is passed from generation to generation? A photo, a song. And what gets left behind or lost along the way? Rowan O’Neill travels with water collected from a well next to the Church where she was baptised, looking for a place to pour it, a place of connection and meaning.


A reliable and clean source of water is essential for any community, so it is easy to understand how important wells were for pre-modern peoples. More complex is the mystical relationship humans have developed with these sites, which are imbued with a sacredness that predates Christianity. Holy Wells of Wexford and Pembrokeshire is a series of five chapbooks celebrating holy wells in two regions with common ancestry and history. Since at least the Bronze Age, sea travel between these two lands has meant cross fertilisation of traditions and common names associated with wells of both regions. Of significance is the long-standing friendship between two early Christian saints: David, who became the first Bishop of St Davids; and Aidan, born in Ireland, who spent time in Wales and then founded monasteries in Ireland, including at Ferns. In Oilgate, Wexford, there is a well dedicated to David and, at Whitesands near St Davids in Pembrokeshire, there is one named after Aidan. Each of the five books approaches the subject from different perspectives and mediums, including fiction, poetry and essays as well as photographs and prints.

Holy Wells of Wexford and Pembrokeshire is a series of five chapbooks commissioned by Ancient Connections, an EU funded arts, heritage and tourism project linking north Pembrokeshire with north Wexford led by Pembrokeshire County Council with partners Wexford County Council, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and Visit Wexford. The series coincides with the launch of a new pilgrim route; Wexford-Pembrokeshire Pilgrim Way between Ferns in County Wexford and St Davids in Pembrokeshire. The holy wells explored in this series through fiction, essays, photographs, poetry and prints are all on or close to the new pilgrim route.



Rowan O’Neill is an artist, writer and performance maker from Felinwynt, Ceredigion, west Wales. Her research and creative practice represents a continuing investigation of language, identity, place and belonging, inspired by a rural agricultural up-bringing in a predominantly Welsh speaking community. Her work often uses song and autobiographical narratives as the starting point for public events and community performances exploring migration, genealogical time and the interconnectedness of people and place