Saint Senan's Well, Tobar Sheanáin, Killanena
Townland: Killanena, Clonlea
Description of Holy Well and Landscape Setting
The well is located on the east shore of Clonlea Lake, off the secondary road from the R462 at Kilkishen. The well has its own space and consists of a box type construction with a shelf, probably intended for placing votive offerings or a statue of the saint. There are a few small statuettes on this shelf and some ancient offerings. Beneath the shelf is the well, which still contains water. On the western shore of Clonlea Lake are the remains of an old church, which very likely has an association with the well.
Saint and Feast Day Associated with Holy Well
This is yet another County Clare well dedicated to Saint Senan of Scattery, whose feast day is 8th March. This well is a long way from the Saint’s home in the Shannon Estuary. Most likely his cult followed the river traffic to this site many centuries ago.
Natural Heritage around Holy Well
The well is located close to the shore of the Clonlea Lake. The field where the well stands is usually grazed but had been out of use for a while on the day of the visit. There is a lot of fern growth around the edges of the well and there was high summer grass obscuring the well at the time of the research visit.
Heritage Attractions Nearby
Kilkishen Village is a five minute drive from the holy well site.
The Irish name of this Parish is Cluain Laogh, meaning the ‘Cloon of the Calves’.
Ordnance Survey Letters, 1839:
‘Of the founder or Patron of this Parish we have no historical account but there is a holy well still resorted to for the performance of Stations by some persons, tho’ prohibited by the Catholic clergymen of the district, opposite the old Church on the east of the lake in the Townland of Kill-an-Aonaigh (Kilanena) dedicated to St. Senanus which may afford some ground to suppose that the Church was dedicated to him but he is not remembered in the Parish’.
Ordnance Survey Letters, Royal Irish Academy
Ordnance Survey Letters, Ask About Ireland
Record of Monuments and Places Number
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