Tobernagat, Tobar na gCait, The Well of the Cats
Townland: Tobernagat, Moynoe
Description of Holy Well and Landscape Setting
The site where the well is believed to be located is in a large pasture field. It is identified by the beginning of a water flow, which is quite brisk at first and then continues as a stream through the land. Its trail across the field is denoted by tall reeds. The field looks like it may have undergone some physical changes.
Saint and Feast Day Associated with Holy Well
There does not seem to be any saint associated with this holy well. Tobernagat, meaning ‘The Well of the Cat’ is an unusual name and does not have any Christian connotations. There is no reference to the well in the records of the antiquarians of County Clare. It is likely to have been out of use for a long time.
The closest one can come to the name of this well is Uaimh na gCait, ‘The Cave of the Cats’, at Queens Maedb’s archaeological complex in Roscommon. This cave is considered to be a pre-Christian portal to the underworld.
Heritage Attractions Nearby
The town of Scariff is close to the holy well site and offers food and accommodation. A little further east is Mountshannon with access to Lough Derg and Holy Island (Inis Cealtra).
There is a reference from 1787 naming the townland as ‘Tobbernegath’, but no explanation is offered for the name’s origin.
Record of Monuments and Places Number