Black dog well is situated on the side of the Tipperary/ Kilmallock road just on the outskirts of Kilmallock town. It consist of a small spring well enclosed by a rough stone wall. The well is tear shaped and a series of stone steps provide access at the narrow end.
A small grotto with a statue of the Blessed Virgin and Child is located beside the well. Votive offerings in the form of immaculate medals, rosary beads and brown scapula are found on top of the grotto and draped around the statue. According to the Limerick Diocesan web site, the travelling community maintained the well. The area surrounding the well was landscaped last year but luckily there has been little change to the well structure.
The old name for the well was Tubberidinee, which derived from Tobar Rí and Domhnaigh (The King of Sunday’s well) which must have been an older name for the well. Today the well is known as ‘Black Dog’ holy well, this names comes from a folk tradition that at night a black dog comes out of the well. According to Ó Danachair, the well was associated with eye cures and people who were cured reported seeing eye a trout in the well.
Interestingly all the statues at the well suggest an association with the Blessed Virgin but a local man who I met at the well tells me that well is associated with St Brigit.
Ó Danachair, C. 1955. ‘The holy wells of Co Limerick’ JRSAI, Vol. LXXV, 193-217.
Seoighe, M. 2012. The Story of Kilmallock. Kilmalock Historical Society.
I like the stories of ghosts and spirits associated with wells, there are a few in Wales, though more often a woman in white – I haven’t come across a dog yet – although there are a number of other black dog legends.
I haven’t come across any other example either. Its a great story.
Hi I did a piece on otherworldly creatures and English wells, you may be interested in a look http://insearchofholywellsandhealingsprings.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/boggarts-fairy-folk-ghosts-other-otherworldy-beasts-and-waterlore-an-analysis/
Must admit never heard of this one, makes it even more of a good read. Well done. If you like holywells and you aren’t already, my blog and well hopper will interest you…all the best
Thank you for the link very interesting post . There lot of traditions with holy fish living in Irish holy wells but this is the only well I have come across with an association with a dog . I think it must be a very local tradition specific to the well. Best wishes, louise