Tobar na nGealt

Dublin Core


Tobar na nGealt


Brigid O Connor

Bibliographic Citation

An Buile Suibhne - Mad Sweeney
On The Trail of Merlin
Placenames - Pádraig Ó Siochfhradha wrote under the Gaelic pen-name An Seabhac

Description of Well Item Type Metadata

1 Name of well and saint

Tobar na nGealt, Local folklore says a saint called Silver Hugh

2 Townland, County, GPS

Gleann na nGealt, Foillatrisnigh, County Kerry

3 Physical description of well and its surroundings

The well is situated at the bottom of the valley of Gleann na nGealt. A crossing on the Gleann na nGealt stream is called Ath na Gealtán (fools crossing). There is also a ring fort nearby.

4 Cure

There is reputed to be a cure for madness in the waters of this well. Included in the folklore of Tobar na nGealte is a story of the "mad people" coming to the valley for the cure and drinking milk from a hollow in a Ballaun stone named locally as the Mad Stone, which is near the well. People suffering from mental illness have been coming to this well for hundreds of years and drinking the water for the cure. There are stories told locally and in the old Irish writings of people who were cured after drinking water from Tobar na nGealt. One woman named was Mary Maher from Limerick and also the King of France was cured after he lost his reason at the battle of the Ventry Harbour. All local folklore.

5 Pattern day

There is no specific day associated with this well.

6 Offerings

In recent times people hang clothing, medals, rosary beads and some personal items on the trees at the well. They return regularly to pray and drink the water. People talk of great peace around the well and valley.

7 Prayer rounds and stations

There are no special prayers said at the well.

8 Stories

When people drink the water, and if they see a fish in the water, they will be cured. The Mad People used to survive on water cress and some milk poured on the mad stone from the local farmer.

9 Publications

An Buile Suibhne-Mad Sweeney
On the Trail of Merlin
Placenames-Pádraig Ó Siochfhradha wrote under the Gaelic pen-name An Seabhac
Mad Sweenedy and An Buile Suibhne from the early Irish writings is associated with this well and in more recent times, Merlin the magician. A book has been written "On the Trail of Merlin." This book traces Merlin across Europe and this includes Gleann na nGealt.