Tobar Iosa

The Well of Jesus

This ancient well is probably pre-Christian. The pagan custom of tying rags to the holly tree at the site, is still retained. The well is key-hole shaped. The main part is known as the upper well, it is circular with an outflow leading to a rectangular pool, the lower well. Traditionally pilgrims would visit the site on Christmas Eve when the would complete the rounds. This involved taking three pebbles from the upper well in remembrance of devotions made.

According to a notice board at the well, emigrants from Cahir and British soldiers from the nearby barracks at Kilcomman would do the rounds at the well before going on their travels.

Upper Well


Placed upright on a shrine to the north of the well is an early Christian cross slab. It was found in a bog about 800 metres from here, along with a smaller, now missing, cross. The cross slab bears an incised latin cross with expanded terminals, enclosed within a circle. Above the circle is another plain latin cross. The slab is probably dated to the 7th/8th century. The altar stone at the shrine, was used as a mass-rock during the Penal times.

The holy well, the shrine and the rag tree.

Rag tree


Pictured above is the entrance to the holy well, cemented onto the top of the right side is a crude stone cross, it looks ancient, but apparently it was carved by Roger Sheehy, the man who found the early Christian slab, in the late 1800s.

Situated: From Caher Castle, cross over the bridge and turn right onto Abbey Street. Take the last left turn before the roundabout. Drive to the end along a narrow road. The entrance to the well is on your left.

Discovery Map 66: S 0419 2595. Last visit Aug 2019.

Longitude: 7° 56' 18" W

Latitude: 52° 23' 7" N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey.