Saint Anastasia's Well, previously Toberinneenboy or Tobar Inghean Baoith, Tullygarvan West
Townland: Tullygarvan West, Kilmanaheen
Description of Holy Well and Landscape Setting
This holy well lies south of Lahinch, off the N67 towards Moy and on the Tullygarvan West Road. It is in the south-west corner of a very large pasture field. It lies in a hollow and is not visible from the road. The well site is surrounded by a gated wall. There are some seats and stools at the site. The spring has crystal clear waters and is protected by a well house with a flagstone roof. It is painted in the colours of blue and white, usually associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is perfectly maintained.
Saint and Feast Day Associated with Holy Well
This well was previously known as Toberinneenboy or Tobar Inghean Baoith and is still listed as such on some websites. The well is now dedicated to Saint Anastasia, who was once an important saint in the early Church. The second mass of Christmas Day, known as the Dawn Mass, is in her honour. Traditionally, the well would be visited on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning.
Natural Heritage around the Holy Well
The site of the well is beside an active stream. Local knowledge indicates that three parishes and two dioceses meet in the corner of the field where the well lies. As a result it would have been considered a very powerful place. Nearby is a grove of trees known locally as Glenville or ‘Gleann Bhile’ in Irish – ‘The Glen of the Sacred Tree’. This placename might hint at the presence of an even older dedication for this holy well.
Heritage Attractions Nearby
The holy well is 15 minutes from Lahinch Village, which has a celebrated links golf course. The huge waves crashing onto Lahinch Beach are also a surfer’s paradise. Twenty minutes to the south of the holy well site is Milltown Malbay, renowned for its annual traditional music classes and sessions.
People would visit the well on the evening of Christmas Eve to pray and place candles at the site. This is the only well in County Clare to honour the Saint Anastasia. It also the only holy well in the county to have an established tradition of visitation in midwinter.
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