The Horgan Brothers Collection: DECLAN’S WELL
Located in Ardmore, Waterford, Saint Declan’s Well dates back to the 14th century. In this film the viewer is shown parts of the Oratory and Saint Declan’s Tower but perhaps the most interesting is the scene of Saint Declan’s stone, featuring a man and woman walking underneath it. Legend has it, on the feast day of the saint (24th of July) pilgrims would crawl under the stone as a cure for arthritis. However the mythical tale also warned that the stone should not be approached by the unworthy or they risked getting stuck and shamed by the stone magically trapped for their sins.
Although most of the reels had suffered the ravages of time and were incomplete – enough had survived to provide an invaluable moving image record of what appeared on screen a century ago in a rural Irish cinema.
The Horgan Brothers’ films (1910- 1920) are some of the earliest moving images made in Ireland. The Brothers were photographers who turned their attention to the moving image , eventually opening a cinema in their home town of Youghal, Co. Cork. It was here they screened their newsreel style films, which they named the Youghal Gazette. To see more of the Horgan Brothers Collection click here.
With kind permission from Jim Horgan.