Saturday, March 16, 2013

Clootie Wells................

In Honor of St. Patricks Day......................

                                        CLOOTIES! ......

(a piece of cloth tied to a branch of a tree that is usually growing at or near
a well or spring that is considered holy or sacred, for the purpose of having a prayer granted)
Found in areas of Scotland, Ireland, as well as parts of northern England, Some of these wells
predate Christian times.
Although the practices vary depending on local
tradition, in Scotland and Ireland pieces of cloth (clooties)
are dipped in the holy well or spring and then tied to a branch.
This offering is then accompanied by a prayer or wish to the "spirit
of the well", normally a saint or a goddess, or a nature deity in pre-christian
At some wells the affected part of ones body is washed with a rag which is then tied
to a branch.
Offerings of rosaries, crosses and other religious symbols
may also be hung from branches.
Legend has it that the ailment is shed as the clootie disintegrates
over time.
An internet search for "clooties"
will turn up lots more information on clooties, as well as
some videos.
(all photos found on internet search)
Happy St. Patricks Day!


  1. dear vintage green life,
    (i had to write that because your blog name is so PERFECT today!)
    i had never heard of clooties and i want to share this fascinating custom at recuerda mi corazon today, it's the sunday "postcards from paradise" meme and being st. paddy's day you are perfect!!!

  2. What a beautiful site, these clooties...I can imagine this tradition of placing the colorful rags predates Christianity as well.

    thank you so much for sharing this with us!

  3. I am fascinated with your story on the tradition of clooties...who knew? I don't know why, but I'm intrigued by the idea of enduring pagen ceremonies!

  4. LOVE this! I am fascinated by holy wells. Also love prayer flags. Must research more about Clooties. Thank you.

  5. These are fascinating, my town was full of holy wells but they've all been lost over time sadly, it would be a fantastic tradition to carry on. Thanks for sharing! xxx

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  7. Very cool! I am "clootie-izing" the fencing around my herb garden because I keep tripping over it! How are you doing? Long time, no hear...

  8. What a delightful and informative post ~ love the 'clooties' ~ Tibet has the prayer flags that on trees everywhere ~ Enjoy ^_^

  9. We have one of these at a nearby country house
    Also here in Yorkshire clothes are called "clouts".

  10. {{ oh
    i love this so much
    i can hardly express myself ...

    little prayer flags for water !!

    my new word for the day --->


    i will research it more
    so thank you ...

    in Florida we have wee springs everywhere
    or we did so have
    but due
    to over-pumping
    well-capping by big business
    we are losing
    our powerful
    holy waters
    fresh water springs
    artesian well ...

    i am so embarrassed by people }}

  11. How strange! I've never seen or heard of this before, mind you I'm from the urban sprawl, I only ever see wells in India or as naff garden displays coupled with gnomes! x

  12. What a great story!! I love things lke this...It seems to be similar to prayers flags doesn't it... I will bet that the trees look wonderful in person with all that color!!! Great story Gayle Thanks for sharing it...