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Holy Wells | Curraghchase House | Shrine

Holy Wells

St Brigid's well
© St Brigid's well

St Brigid's well is located in the townland of Kilbreedy. It is about a half-mile walk from the road and there is a clear path that guides you from the roadway to the site of the well, which is in a valley. The well is a clear spring and is surrounded by a stone wall. There is also a statue to St. Bridget over the well. A small tree beside the well has a large number of rags tied to it as a form of offerings.

Offerings tree at St Brigid's Well
© Offerings tree at St Brigid's Well

Rounds are still made at the well especially on February 1st, which is St. Bridget's feastday. By praying at the well and bathing your eyes in the water, the well is believed to cure eye ailments. It is believed that St. Bridget was praying at this spot when the well sprang up.

There is also another well that might be in the parish. In the townland of Curraghchase, which is in both the parishes of Adare and Kilcornan, there is said to be a Holy Well called Toberveenanee. This well is believed to be a Holy Well but no tradition or location can be found.

In his book "Kenry", Máirtín Ó Corrbuí mentions a well in Curragh called Siveen. Ó Corrbuí refers to a conversation between R. F. Herbert, a former Librarian of Limerick City Library and the then gardener at Curraghchase. This story first appeared in the North Munster Antiquarian Journal Vol. II 1940-41.

The gardener told Hebert that his grandmother told him that lepers visited the well. Tradition has it that the well was originally near the 'big house' but a woman washed clothes in the well and it dried up. The well reappeared at a new site. This well maybe the same well as the well called Toberveenanee by Danaher.

Curraghchase House

Curraghchase House
© Curraghchase House

John Hunt built Curragh House in the latter half of the seventeenth century but the existing house dates from the eighteenth century. Hunt was granted the land, which consisted of 380 plantation acres during the Cromwellian plantations. John Fitzgerald originally owned the land.

At this time, the estate was called Curragh. When one of John Hunt's descendants, Aubrey Hunt, changed his surname by Royal License to de Vere in 1833, he also changed the name of the property from Curragh to Curraghchase. Aubrey De Vere married Mary Spring Rice and they had a family of eight, with their son Aubrey being the best known of the family, i.e., famous poet.

The younger Aubrey recalled that the lake at the bottom of the house was rich meadow when he was in his youth. A slender stream divided this meadow. Across the lake a monument to the de Vere family stands on a small hill. Near the house, there is a small cemetery to the de Vere's family pets.

The house was accidentally destroyed by fire in December 1941. The grounds at Curraghchase were bought by the State in 1957 and the property is now used as commercial timber. Some of the state forest is used as a public amenity and includes tourist trails, camping and caravan park facilities, which make the area a popular tourist attraction.


Shrine in Kilcornan
© Shrine in Kilcornan

There is a shrine to the Blessed Virgin Mary in Kilcornan, situated on the roadside next to Kilcornan National school.

Holy Wells | Curraghchase House | Shrine

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