Toberbreeda, Tobar Bhríde, Cappafeen
Townland: Cappafeean, An Cheapach Fhiáin, Inchicronan
Description of Holy Well and Landscape Setting
This holy well lies in a natural alcove dominated by a pair of huge trees. The well is in front of the trees in a stone faced surround, now covered in moss. To the left of the well is a more recent grotto and behind it is an art installation in the form of a wooden hut with seating. In the field directly behind the holy well is a cillín.
Saint and Feast Day Associated with Holy Well
Known as Tobar Breeda, this well is dedicated to Saint Brigid, whose feast day is 1st February. Records in the National Folklore collection outline the tradition at the holy well:
‘The Round at this well consists of three visits. The first visit is paid on Monday, the second on the following Thursday and the third on the following Monday. Any person who is suffering from any diseases usually makes there [sic] rounds at the well on those three days for nine days altogether…..When people visit this well they rub the water to the affected part with the moss, which is growing in the well. they also bring home moss and the water and when they make the visit they have to leave back the moss where they got it and if they have any water left they put it into the stream which flows from the well.
There is active local engagement with the well. The grotto, art installation and a stone sign that reads ‘Tobar Breeda, Holy Well, Kilvilly Cillín, Infant Graveyard’ are recent additions. There appears to be an excellent community effort to preserve both the well and the memory of those laid to rest in the cillín.
Natural Heritage around the Holy Well
This is a lovely natural site. The two mature trees are a sycamore, to the left, and an oak to the right. These two trees share the same root area. The well has a strong flow that creates a stream. This connects with another stream and eventually these flow into Inchicronan Lough nearby.
Heritage Attractions Nearby
Crusheen Village is two miles north of the holy well site. The M81 road can be joined here. Travelling south will bring the visitor to Ennis Town and Galway City is to the north.
Local folklore tells the story of a man who once visited the well. He could not walk and used two crutches to aid him. Having prayed at the well and taken the water he was cured. He stuck the two crutches in the soil at the side of the well. These eventually became the two tall trees that stand at the site today.
Record of Monuments and Places Number