Tobar Senán, Saint Senan's Well, Goleen
Townland: Goleen, Carrowntedaun, Killmanaheen Parish
Carrowntedaun, Ceathramhadh an t-Séideáin, meaning ‘Quarter of the Blowing or Squirting of Water’.
Description of Holy Well and Landscape Setting
This holy well lies close to the coastal road south of Lahinch, opposite Moy townland. It is situated at the top of short sea- cliffs overlooking Liscannor Bay and is tucked in at the top of the cliff. There is a dry stone wall around the well and a well house constructed of sea stones cemented together. A combination of metal pipes on either side of the entrance prevents animals from gaining access to the water. A small wooden grotto under the stone cover contains a variety of small statues. There is water in the well and it has been renewed in recent times.
Saint and Feast Day Associated with Holy Well
The well is dedicated to Saint Senan of Inis Cathaigh (Scattery Island), whose feast day is 8th March. The most common prayers recited at the well tends to be decades of the Rosary. It is likely that this well was a local destination for prayer in the past when the area was more populated.
Natural Heritage around the Holy Well
The well lies at the end of a grazing field, protected by an earthen ditch. There is no significant tree growth at the site as a result of its proximity to the sea and the inshore wind.
Heritage Attractions Nearby
The beach of Lahinch with its wonderful surfing waves are just a few miles north of the holy well site. The town also boasts a very popular golf course. A few miles further north are the awe-inspiring Cliffs of Moher.
Interestingly, there are some oral accounts of a ‘Sidhe’ or non-Christian well not far from Saint Senan’s Well.
National Folklore Collection, 1930s :
‘There is a well beside the Goleen road which is called “Tobar na Pisreóige‘.
National Folklore Collection, Schools’ Collection, County Clare, vol. 0621, page 301:
‘Not far from our house, on the top of the cliff near the sea there is a little well called St. Senan’s. It is noted for its cures, especially for defective eye sight. People go there to wash their eyes in the water of the well. It is also noted for cures for pains in legs. There was a woman in the locality some 20 yrs. ago who went there to perform a round. She was so lame that she had to use a crutch and a stick. When she had performed the round she sat down and fell asleep. When she awoke she was able to walk home without aid of crutch or stick.
Although cattle graze around the well they were never known to drink any of the water, and even in the driest summers the well has never run dry’.
This link offers information on holy wells along the west coast of Clare The Holy Wells of West Clare
National Folklore Collection, Schools’ Collection 1930s
Record of Monuments and Places Number
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