[From Manx Soc vol 16, 1869]
The festival of Lammas Day, called in Manx " Lal Lhuanys," was one of the great festivals of the Druids, and is still observed to the present day in the island. The first Sunday in August is called by the Manx peasantry, " Yn chied doonaght a ouyr," and they are in the habit of ascending the highest hills in the country on that day, as well as visiting the various sanative wells, which are held in the highest estimation. The most celebrated at the present time is that of St. Maughold, situated on the north-eastern side of the point of land called St. Maughold's Head, some 500 feet above the sea. The water of this well has always been esteemed for its sanative properties, and is annually resorted to by the natives and others to drink its waters on that day. The bishop is said to have baptised his disciples at this well, and to have blessed it with the peculiar property of fecundity if drank when seated in the Saint's Chair, which he obligingly placed in its immediate vicinity.
Various other wells are to be met with, as that at Peel, dedicated to St. Patrick, which sprung forth where this saint first planted the sign of the cross on the ground, and endowed with every good to those who came to test its properties. An old author says.-
Have you beheld when people pray
At Patrickes well, on Patron's Day?
By charm of priest and miracle
To cure diseases at this well,
The valleys filled with blind and lame,
And go as limping as they came."
Many extraordinary properties were ascribed to the Nunnery Well, dedicated to St. Bridget, but as Waldron says, it was, "of late suitefd to dry up;" the same cannot be said of the well of St. Catherine's at Port Erin, which still flows on in all its pristine purity, and by which many a wonderful cure is said to have been effected ; by the Chibbyr Parick or well of Saint Patrick on the west end of the hill of Laxeygraue, and by Lord Henry's well on the south beach of Laxey.
These wells, the waters whereof, springing from sources undefiled, have been from the earliest times held in the greatest estimation, and innumerable are the instances recorded of their various sanative qualities. The custom of "well dressing," is still kept up at Tissington, a village in Derbyshire, on Holy Thursday, where the wells are adorned with flowers, arranged in various devices, and accompanied with inscriptions, fixed at the back of the spring, which appears to issue from under them.