Saint Caoidhe's Holy Well, Tobar Caoidhe, Toberkee

Saint Caoidhe's Holy Well, Tobar Caoidhe, Toberkee
James Feeney
Saint Caoidhe's Holy Well, Tobar Caoidhe, Toberkee
James Feeney
Saint Caoidhe's Holy Well, Tobar Caoidhe, Toberkee
James Feeney
Saint Caoidhe's Holy Well, Tobar Caoidhe, Toberkee
James Feeney
Saint Caoidhe's Holy Well, Tobar Caoidhe, Toberkee
James Feeney

Townland: Kilfearagh, Foohagh, Kilkee

Description of Holy Well and Landscape Setting

The holy well of Saint Caoidhe stands on the cliff top at Foohagh, overlooking the Atlantic and the sea stack known as Bishop’s Island. It stands on the mainland a little to the east of the sea stack. The well is in a modern well house, which protects it from the weather. The well site is grassed and has some flower planting.

Saint and Feast Day Associated with Holy Well

Saint Caoidhe, anglicized to Saint Kee, gives his name to the town of Kilkee. Previously, the patron saint of the town was Fiachra, who is still remembered. Saint Caoidhe is somewhat obscure. For example the parish church at Kilkee is not named after him and is instead dedicated to Saint Senan. Despite this, Saint Caoidhe’s well at Foohagh is excellently maintained.  Though there does not appear to be a specific feast day, the well is regularly visited.

Natural Heritage around the Holy Well

The well site is denoted by an earthen rampart, and the well itself is contained in a perfectly maintained structure. There are some votive offerings, crucifixes and prayer leaflets on the wall at the back of the well.

Heritage Attractions Nearby

Kilkee town and beach are a 10 minute drive from the holy well site. A little to the east of the well is a sea stack called Bishop’s Island. At its summit are the remains of a ninth century eremitic or hermitage site which is now inaccessible.

Additional Information

Ordnance Survey Letters, 1839:

‘They shew the site of a little burying place at Kilkee (Cill-Chaoidhe) from which the Townland takes its name, and the Holy Well of St. Caoidhe, called still Tobar-Caoidhe, lies about two miles south west of it on the brink of the cliff near the Bishop’s Island, still occasionally frequented for the cure of diseases of the eye.’ 

Discover More…

Clare County Library

Ordnance Survey Letters, Royal Irish Academy

Ordnance Survey Letters, Ask About Ireland

Record of Monuments and Places Number

RMP-CL055-006

Surveyed by Michael Houlihan

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