Tobernabran, Tobar na Bran, Cloontohil
Townland: Cloontohil, Dysert
Description of Well and Landscape Setting
This well lies to the east of a private road leading to a farmhouse on the south side of the Disert-Kilnamona road in Soheen Townland. It lies on a ridge of heavy ground where the rushes give way to some trees. When the farmhouse was in use, water must have been drawn from here. The water supply of the well appears as a constant trickle from a rise in the ground. It is likely that the spring here stopped functioning as a holy well here long before it was tapped into as a domestic water supply.
Saint and Feast Day Associated with Well
There is very little information on when the well may have last functioned as a holy place. The name of the well ‘Tobernabran’ does not offer many clues on the history of the well. Tobernabran most likely translates as ‘The Well of the Ravens’.
Bran is famous in the old Irish stories as being Fionn Mac Cumhaill’s hound but it very unlikely that this is the Bran is associated with the holy well. Rather, the reference to the name Bran suggests a much older origin for the well and may explain why not much is known about the well today,
Natural Heritage around the Holy Well
Some trees of alder, hazel, blackthorn and holly surround the spring.
Heritage Attractions Nearby
Dysert O’ Dea Archaeological Centre, which is a seven minute drive from the well site, offers a range of archaeological sites to visit. Information about their history and locations are available at the tower house on site.
Records of Monuments and Places Number