Glencolumbkille South Holy Well, likely once known as Tober Colmcille, Carran
Townland: Glencolumbkille South, Carran
Description of Holy Well and Landscape Setting
This holy well lies at the end of a short green road. The site has a little hillock, with trees and stream and the well lies to the right, as an enclosed and separate part of the stream. It emerges from a limestone wall at the rear of the site. The well is designated by a loose stone wall. The top section of a stone cross is inserted into this wall. This cross may be part of the once tall ‘termon’ cross that stood at the entrance to the graveyard and the 14th century ruins of Saint Columbcille Church, a few hundred metres further on. There were no votive offerings present at the time of the research visit or anything else that might suggest pilgrimage. Nevertheless, a quiet mood pervades the site
Saint and Feast Day Associated with Holy Well
Colum Cille was known as ‘The Dove of the Church’. Patrick, Brigid and Colum Cille form the principal trio of Ireland’s saints. His feast day is 9th June. He died in 597 AD and there is nowhere in the Celtic Christian world that his cult did not travel to after his death. The well is remote and not easy to find. It would appear that pilgrims still visit, but only in small numbers.
Natural Heritage around the Holy Well
A significant number of medium sized trees, perhaps ash and alder, are spread across the site where the well stands. The stream spread across the site and the area is liable to flood in excessively wet weather.
Heritage Attractions Nearby
The Burren Landscape with all its riches surrounds the well site.
T.J. Westropp, 1912:
‘The well lies in a lovely valley, with large amounts of archaeology about – churches, graves, fulachta fiadh etc. The area has strong Dalcassian O’Brien associations. A nearby Tower House was that of Torlogh O’ Brien, second in seniority to the Marquis of Thomond’
Record of Monuments and Places Number
Surveyed by Michael Houlihan