Saint Breckan's, Saint Brickan's Holy Well, Crovraghan
Townland: Crovraghan, Kiladysert
Description of Holy Well and Landscape Setting
Saint Breckan’s Holy Well lies in a hollow at the bottom of a field sloping towards the Shannon River. The area is east of Killadysert Village on the R473 road.
The well lies under a shelf in a grotto structure. There are steps and banisters leading down to the well. Higher shelves contain statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Jesus and Saint Joseph. The lower shelves also have statues of various sizes of the Blessed Virgin Mary and a tray for candles. Votive candles and Rosary beads were present at the time of the research visit.
The well is painted an ochre-umber colour which suits the area. A cross at the top of the grotto names the saint as ‘St. Brickan’.
Saint and Feast Day Associated with Holy Well
The well is dedicated to Breckan, who was one of the pioneering saints of Clare/Thomond. Kilbreckan Church, Doora, is named in his honour. It was the principal site of veneration until Saint Michael was introduced to the area, possibly by the Augustinians at Clare Abbey. There are several Breckans listed in the annals. The local Saint Breckan’s feast day is most likely 29th April.
Natural Heritage around the Holy Well
There is water in the well. The area is shaded by tall ash trees which deaden the sound of vehicles on the road outside and add a peaceful mood to the site.
Heritage Attractions Nearby
Kiladysert Village is ten minutes west of the holy well site. Further on is the Shannon Estuary and the sights of West Clare.
Breckan was a 5th century saint and, as such, was one of the earliest to preach in Clare. He lived about 480 AD and was related to the Dalcassian elites of the county. Together with Saint Enda he is still remembered on the Aran Islands.
Ordnance Survey Letters, 1839:
‘In this Parish there are three Holy Wells:- One in the Townland of Leacain na Seannach (Lackennashinnagh) called Tobermurry, i.e., the Well of the Blessed Virgin, at which Stations are performed; the second in Crobraghan called Tober-Beachain and the third in Coogy called Tobar Ruadhain, i.e., the Well of St. Rodanus. No Stations are performed at the two latter wells, nor is the festival of either Saint celebrated or remembered in the Parish..’
Record of Monuments and Places Number