Rathvilly is a village steeped in history and heritage that spans many centuries. Rathvilly received its name from one of a series of raths, these were built and designed to protect their centre. Today Rathvilly is a picturesque village located in North Carlow with parish boundaries bordering counties Kildare and Wicklow.
One of the many interesting sites in Rathvilly is St Patrick’s holy well. The well itself is a natural spring capped with a large flat slab. The water flows away from the well through a stone lined channel. In 1953, the well was enclosed with a hexagonal fence and more recently the ground surface surrounding the well was covered in gravel. It is located on private land in the townland of Patrickswell (Tobar Phádraig) at the bottom of a long sloping field.
According to locals, St Patrick baptised Crimthann the King of Leinster along with his wife and child at this spot in around 450AD. St. Patricks well is also known for curing warts.