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Tobernalt Holy Well is a natural spring and hallowed site winding through the tranquil forest near Lough Gill. The well has been a symbol of healing and spirituality since Ireland’s pre-Christian era. Before the 5th century, Tobernalt Holy Well was a sacred site for Celtic ceremonies and pagan feasts. Explore the wooded grove where this holy relic lies and experience its tranquility and history.
Walk along the stone path following the forest stream and leading through the leafy dell. Stop at special shrines and stone formations and appreciate how this place of refuge has endured through centuries. It is believed that Lughnasa, the ancient pagan harvest festival, was celebrated here in Neolithic times. After the 5th century, the well became a sacred and curative place for Christian believers.
Note the beautiful altar cut out of the stone near the stream. Adorned with a crucifix, candles and lush green ferns, this altar was a significant site for Irish Catholics during the penal times in the 17th and 18th centuries. English law harshly punished Catholicism during this period, so the priest led masses and ceremonies here in secret.
Note a replica of the penal cross, as well as a series of shrines amid the woods including a shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Anne and the Crucifixion Scene. Spend some time at the well itself, which is said to hold healing powers. See a pagan ritual entwined with Christian tradition at the Tobernalt Holy Well rag tree, which is adorned with rags and rosary beads.
Visit the well on the last Sunday of July to experience Garland Sunday, a customary assembly and special Mass held annually at the ancient Mass rock. Locals make the pilgrimage to the well from Sligo in the morning and spend the day celebrating and praying.
Tobernalt Holy Well is located beneath Cairns Hill, east of Lough Gill. Visit the site daily for free. The entrance to the glade is a short distance from the side of the road, where you’ll find a free parking area. Tobernalt Holy Well is a 15-minute drive from Sligo town.
This family-friendly Sligo hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Model Arts and Niland Gallery, OConnell Street and Sligo County Museum. Yeats Memorial Building and Sligo Abbey are also within 1 mile (2 km). Sligo Mac Diarmada Station is 26 minutes by foot.
Situated in Sligo, this hotel is steps away from Model Arts and Niland Gallery and Sligo Abbey. Sligo County Museum and Yeats Memorial Building are also within 10 minutes. Sligo Mac Diarmada Station is 12 minutes by foot.
Located in the heart of Sligo, this hotel is steps away from Famine Memorial, Yeats Memorial Building and Quayside Shopping Centre. OConnell Street and Sligo County Museum are also within 5 minutes. Sligo Mac Diarmada Station is 6 minutes by foot.
This family-friendly Sligo hotel is located in the suburbs, within 1 mi (2 km) of Hawks Well Theatre and Sligo Abbey. OConnell Street and Quayside Shopping Centre are also within 2 miles (3 km). Sligo Mac Diarmada Station is 30 minutes by foot.
Situated on the riverfront, this hotel is steps away from Yeats Memorial Building, OConnell Street and Sligo County Museum. Quayside Shopping Centre and Famine Memorial are also within 5 minutes. Sligo Mac Diarmada Station is 6 minutes by foot.
Situated in Sligo, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Quayside Shopping Centre, Yeats Memorial Building and Hawks Well Theatre. OConnell Street and Sligo Cathedral are also within 10 minutes. Sligo Mac Diarmada Station is only a 3-minute walk.
Situated in Sligo, this bed & breakfast is within 3 miles (5 km) of Tobernalt Holy Well, Hawks Well Theatre and Sligo Abbey. Sligo Cathedral and OConnell Street are also within 3 miles (5 km).
Situated by the ocean, this spa hotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Famine Memorial, Sligo County Museum and Yeats Memorial Building. Quayside Shopping Centre and OConnell Street are also within 3 miles (5 km).