St Columb’s Wells

well

St Columb’s Wells

Three wells originally stood at this site near the bottom of Fahan Street in the Bogside, which dates back to the time of St Columbcille.  It was an important source of water for the defenders, but was dangerously located in ‘no-man’s land’.

Walker: “They place Guards on all sides of the Town, so that the Besieged found it impossible to receive or convey Intelligence, and great difficulty to come to the Wells for Water, which they often Fought for, and cost some of them their Blood. One Gentleman had a Bottle broken at his Mouth by a Shot; yet the Water of the Town was so muddied and troubled with our continual Firing, and so many going to it, that we were forced to run those hazards”

Writing of Marshall General Rosen, Walker added, “He made approaches to our Line, designing to hinder the relief of our Out-Guards, and to give us trouble in fetching Water from Colum-kill’s Well…”

In Graham’s “Ireland Preserved”, John Hunter, a defender from Maghera said: “I could not get a drink of clean water, and suffered heavily from thirst, and was so distressed by hunger that I could have eaten any vermin, but could not get it…”

The cast-iron pump was added in 1897.