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Aughagower or Aghagower (Irish: Achadh Ghobhair, meaning ‘field of the spring’) is a small village in rural County Mayo. It is located about 6 km south east of Westport.

The village is known for its links to Saint Patrick and Tóchar Phádraig, the pilgrimage route from Ballintubber Abbey to Croagh Patrick. It came to prominence in 441 when St. Patrick founded a church and bishopric, and placed over it Bishop Senach; the Book of Armagh states that bishops still dwelt there in the time of the writer (early part of the ninth century). Senach was one of St. Patrick’s closest followers, originally from Armagh, who traveled with him to Aughagower and Croagh Patrick as part of his household. The importance of the parish was still evident six centuries after St. Patrick departed, as seen when in 1215 competing claims by the Archbishops of Tuam and Armagh to the church and lands of Aughagower arose, with Pope Innocent in Rome being called upon to settle the dispute, and did so in favour of Tuam.

There are a number of ancient monuments in Aughagower, some of which are locally reputed to trace their origin to the time of St. Patrick’s ministry in the parish. At the centre of the village stands a well-preserved tenth-century Irish round tower, only missing the topmost section and capstone.

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Amongst the other monuments of the area are:

  • Leaba Phádraig (Patrick’s bed) is said to have been a place where St. Patrick rested, which it has been suggested may have housed a hut or tent, used in the daytime as place of work for St. Patrick.
  • Dabhach Phádraig (Patrick’s vat or tub) is a circular bath surrounded by a stone wall, where pilgrims may have washed their feet, and which may have been used by St. Patrick and his household as a washing place. Due to local drainage the well is now dry except in extremely wet weather. A sheela na gig was found in a nearby ditch, and has been fitted to the eastern wall of Dabhach Phádraig in 2017.
  • St. Patrick’s Knee is a small stone in the graveyard with a small recess carved out of it, which is filled with water. Local legend states that St. Patrick kneeled on this rock and left the imprint, and the water that gathers in it is thought to be holy.
  • Tobair na Deocháin (the Well of the Deacons), now dried up, was where pilgrims drank water while performing the pilgrimage. A tree growing over Dabhach Phádraig was said to have curative powers. The soil was applied in a poultice, and when the ailment was cured the soil must be returned.
  • Cloughundra (Also rendered as ‘Cloch Andra’) is a large stone of approximately 150 kg, which is currently on display on the village green. The local folk-tale states that there was once a giant in Aughagower who used to throw the stone over his shoulder and would throw it “as far as another man would send a pebble. The stone is there yet and the trace of his fingers in it. A great many strongmen spend their leisure time trying to lift the stone”.
  • Leacht Tomaltaigh is an ancient monument on the Gorteen-Aughagower townland boundary, just south of where the Tóchar Phádraig passes. It is thought that this monument marks the grave of one of St. Patrick’s charioteers, Totmael (‘bald poll’) who is recorded in the Book of Armagh and The Tripartite Life of St. Patrick as having died whilst St. Patrick and his household were travelling to Croagh Patrick, along the Tóchar. The monument is still standing in its repaired and mortared form. It stands approximately 0.75 m tall, although it was once a much larger monument, at a height of 2 m.
  • Lankill Standing Stone is a standing stone and National Monument. It stands in a field 2.7 km west-southwest of Aughagower, south of Knappaghbeg Lough. Toberbrendan, an early monastic site, is immediately to the southwest. The stone possibly dates to the Bronze Age period but was Christianised centuries later with a cross carved on it. The purpose of standing stones is unclear; they may have served as boundary markers, ritual or ceremonial sites, burial sites or astrological alignments. The stone is a spike of shale 2.5 m tall. On the west face is a cross with a V-shaped ornament beneath it, and on the east face is a Latin cross in a double circle and four concentric circles.
  • Cloondacon is a townland in the Parish of Aughagower and situated on Tochar Phádraig. The name Cluain Dá Chon refers to an ancient legend according to which a pagan chieftain set two wolfhounds on Saint Patrick. Instead of attacking Patrick, the hounds licked his hands. The chieftain was moved by this and became a Christian. According to an alternative version, St. Patrick made the sign of the cross over them, and the two hounds were swallowed up in an oval shaped hole called Poll na gCon (the hole of the hounds).