Tobershanbally, Tobar Sean Bhaile, The Well of the Old Settlement, Keelhilla
Keelhilla, from the Irish ‘Coill an Iolair’ which means ‘Eagle Wood’
Description of Holy Well and Landscape Setting
This well is located on limestone pavement which is interspersed with thin soil. Scrub is encroaching on the holy well as the traditional winter grazing of cattle is declining.
This marginal land is located right on the edge of the Burren Landscape next to very productive grasslands which are intensively farmed. It is one kilometre east of Saint Colman’s Hermitage which was a Lughnasa site in the past. The crossroads of Cappaghmore are 2.5 kilometres north-east of well. There was thriving village at the crossroads into the first half of the 20th century.
Saint and Feast Day Associated with Holy Well
The dedication at this holy well is a secular one, presumably in honour of a settlement in the immediate area. If Tobershanbally is a ‘satellite well’ of Saint Colman’s hermitage, the pattern date would have been in August, marking Colmán Mac Duagh’s feast day. This time for year also coincides with the great pre-Christian harvest festival of Lughnasa.
Natural Heritage around the Holy Well
The well is located on limestone pavement. Burren speciality plants grow around the site when in season.
Heritage Attractions Nearby
The Burren Perfumery is 7 kilometres to the south-west of the holy well site. Carran Village is 9 kilometres to the south-west and Kinvara is 9 kilometres to the north-east.
The entrance and parking area of Slieve Carran Nature Reserve is 1 kilometre to the south of the well. The reserve includes Saint Colman’s Hermitage and marked walking trails.
Record of Monuments and Places Number
RMP CL 006 – 028001
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