Kilvoydan Holy Well, Kilvoydan South
Townland: Kilvoydan South
In the south of Tulla Parish, near Spancil Hill
Description of Holy Well and Landscape Setting
This holy well is located at the northern boundary of a large field of improved grasslands. It has a fully intact well house in good condition and there is a generous opening to reach in for water. However, the well was dry at the time of the research visit. T.J. Westropp, writing at the turn of the 19th century, also recorded that the well was dry. A boundary stream flows nearby and this once supplied water to the well. Local historian Tom Coffey suggested in 1986 that a minor amount of dredging would renew the well and water would be present again.
An Early Christian enclosure and some church ruins are located a couple of hundred metres south of the well, in the same field. Within sight of the well is a cillín which is hidden by bushes and small thorn trees.
Saint and Feast Day Associated with Holy Well
the name of the holy well and townland, Kilvoydan, comes from the Irish ‘Cill Bhaighdéan’- The Church of St Voydan. Voydan is and Early Christian saint but not much is known about him or her. An Early Christian site and holy well at Corofin are also dedicated to Saint Voydan and there is another holy well dedicated to this saint at Killinaboy.
There are no remaining records of a pattern date, rounding stations or rituals at this holy well. Fresh flowers in a jam pot and coins were recorded at the well by Coffey in the 1980s, as well as
‘…some coins strewn about, some dating from the mid-1920s’
A bullaun or basin stone was recorded near the well as ‘some oval sea stones’. These were ‘on top of the wall covering the well’. Tom Coffey writes that the stones may have been used in fertility rituals, given that they were egg-shaped.
Natural Heritage around the Holy Well
The well is located in improved grassland. There is little biodiversity in the area around the holy well.
Heritage Attractions Nearby
The Cross of Spancil Hill, the location of an annual horse fair, is one kilometre from the holy well site. Tulla Village is 13 kilometres away.
Coffey, T 1993, The Parish of Inchicronan (Crusheen), Ballinakella Press, Clare
Westropp, T.J.1912, A Folklore Survey of County Clare, edited by Maureen Comber 2000, CLASP Press, Ennis.
Record of Monuments and Places Number
RMP CL026 – 093
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