At Cranfield on the northern shore of Lough Neagh is a most accessible rag tree. Like Ardboe on the southern shore, it is close to the shoreline beside the well-signed ruins of an old church, a scheduled historic monument which was once a monastic site.
Here the well is still in good order with a stone border within a wall and hedge enclosure. The rag trees associated with it are hawthorn and hazel. The well is venerated still, and is the focus for an annual outdoor Mass in summertime when the blessing of the boats is carried out.
This well has many legends. The water deposits ‘stones’ which crystallise out on the stone sides of the well. (Lough Neagh water is highly silicaceous – timber left in the lough petrifies, becomes stone-like).
Around the 29th June the water rises: this is the same date as that for the historic rising of water in the now dry well at Legar Hill, Armagh. In Christian terms it marks the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, once a Holy Day of Obligation but the day must have more ancient origins.
The rising water at Cranfield lifts these special stones to the surface and over the edge where they may be gathered.
It is said that swallowing a stone will protect the person from drowning – a valuable protection for fishermen on the tricky waters of Lough Neagh. The waters of the well had healing properties especially for women in childbirth.