Effins Holy Wells

In the first photo above you will see a Stone with carving on it, there appears to be a spout for the water to pour through just above the carved cross, this stone in now by the side of the bank. the well is located in the Ballyhouras, on the following link http://goo.gl/maps/0TXR1

There appear to be conflicting reports on the name of the wells Toberreendowney and Our Ladys Well as you will see from the articles below.

Limerick Diocese Web Page Article on

Holy Wells

Lady’s well is located in the townland of Effin. It is about 3-4 miles from the public road and it is accessible through the roads of the forest. The well is in a circular mound. Danaher wrote that the well is within a ring fort and that the overflow of water from the well was used as a water trough for cattle.

At the well there is a statue of Our Lady and there are also medals and rosary beads left at the well. The well is well kept and people still visit the well regularly. The water from the well is believed to cure many ailments. There are no organised devotions there now, although it is still regarded as a Holy Well.

Lady’s Well and Toberacran ceased to be pilgrimage sites by 1840. Toberacran, in the townland of Gortnacrank derived its name from Tober a Chrann, the Well of the Tree.

St Bridget’s well in Kilbreedy townland was no longer a pattern site in 1840. It was a small clear pool, roughly lined with stones. One large stone was set on edge beside the well. It was formerly very popular especially for the cure of sore eyes.

Danaghers Account

The following account of the Holy Wells in Effin are mentioned in an article on the Holy Wells of Co. Limerick in the Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries Vol 85, No 2 (1955) p208.

71. Par. Kilquane, tld. Ballymacshaneboy, sheet 55, 7712:206. “Toberreendoney ‘ on 1840 map. A small well about two feet by three feet at mouth. Small flagstones projecting from the dry stone walling which lines the well holds cups and other drinking vessels. The well is in a space about twenty feet in diameter, surrounded by an earth bank, three to four feet high and four feet thick at the bottom. Rounds are still made. The water cures sore eyes. Rags and religious objects are left as offerings. This well is among the heather on the mountainside, about half a mile from the nearest house.

72. Par. Kilquane, tld. Ballyshanedehey, sheet 55, 617:303. “Lady’s Well on 1840 map. A strong clear bubbling spring in a horseshoe-shaped well lined with good dry-stone to ground level. Rounds were made within living memory, but there are no devotions now.

The Holy Wells of Co. Limerick Author(s): Caoimhín Ó Danachair Source: The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Vol. 85, No. 2 (1955), pp.193-217 Published by: Royal Society of Antiquaries of IrelandStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25509218

Updates from John Carroll, Ballymac

“the above stone is one of a series that Tom Comber cast in cement around 1966 when he tidied up and generally restored Tobar Rí an Domhnaigh, the well located in Ballymacshaneboy. He designed the stones to hold small stautes and intended them to serve as a type of reliquary if you like. Local tradition always associated this well as having a cure for those who suffered from eye related ailments. Tradition has it that the earthen mound around the well was constructed by a local man as a token of appreciation when his daughter’s eyesight was restored at the well following a fall from a horse ! As far as I know there wasn’t water coming from them..there was a good few more, set at intervals all the way around the inside of the well..I suppose they crumbled over the years and got damaged….the cement mightn’t have been hectic..!! When the forestry was being planted originally the area around the well was ploughed and a huge number of blackened and broken stones were discovered, they were supposed to be a strong indicator of a fulacht fiadh being present…I suppose the supply of water would have been ideal for the bit of a roast ! ….so that well is in action since ancient times.”


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