Our Story of the holy well of Tobar Derragh

or Toberdarragh ... means the same really.

Derreen Woods is famous for its carpets of Bluebell flowers during early May, Bealtaine time.

Hidden in this forest, well more to the edge of it, I found a covered over holy well. On ancient maps this is listed as Tobar Derragh well. Tobar, meaning well. Derragh meaning sacred wood, some say sacred oaks. In this case, I am sure it is refering to trees surrounding a sacred place.

There is no path to this well. When we first went there we did lose direction and walked in circles.

We decided to mark our way

As I said, this well was hidden. I found it by putting my foot in it.

There is a horizontal hawthorn tree rooted around a huge stone here

After removing the branches over the well, and took out the weed, we had this

There was a big white stone to take out. First, Andy had a go, and I decided ti film him doing this :-)

Then I had a go

Well, that's me just posing after Andy and Jonathan had really done the work.

So I read a poem instead.

There's the big stone out ...

and it seems to have markings, are these from a fossil or ancient art?

Claire doing something ...

Bridget shovelling for treasure ...

that somehow seemed to get away

Jonathan moving mud to reveal some feature ...

to reveal this, which is promising ...

Suzie also moving mud ..

that's starting to reveal more

The Holy Well is starting to reveal itself now

In this picture below, on the left bottom, in front of the tree, that is where the water springs out from the underground stream

... and then, top middle, is the little brook the overflow water runs away through.

When this is left unattended the water gets very clear, but I do not have a pic of that yet.

During another visit we cleaned the stones more, and is this a step down revealed?

Tina and Tony have a Bardic moment

And Donijka does too ...

Here's one of the Well work crews.

Now to get the sign up, made by Clare

She taps it in

Jonathan has a go

Then it looks like they have a wee jig after.

Picnic time !!!


and to close a shot of the fallen Beech, an inspiration for Ogma's Tale Of The Trees, or as the passing children call it, the "Dinosaur Tree"

I look forward to being back on Sunday and add more again then.

I hope you can join us to bring this well back to its celebration.


  1. I saw this on Gearoid O'Branagain's Holy Well page on Facebook. I was so enchanted by the story of finding the well and clearing it that I went mooching on OSI Ireland and found it for myself on the 1907 map. With that in front of me, i was able to get very near to the well and woods using Google Maps. So I had a mooch all around, as near as I could, because you see, I'm here in London and I'd love to be over there with you but this is the best I can do. Big love to all of you for this wonderful work. xxxx


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