Tobarnalt Co Sligo, images from the past and present

Tobernalt is a very popular holy well in St John’s Parish, in Carraroe townland, a short distance from Sligo town. The well is regard by many as being a place of healing and  is visited throughout the year.

Below is a drawing of Tobernalt by William Wakeman in 1882.

Wakeman illustrated the Holy Well at Tobernalt on 23 July 1882 when it comprised of the mass rock and well. At the end of the 19th century another altar was added by the convent of the Sisters of Mercy, which was made from stones collected from the edge of Lough Gill (1).


Below is a photo of the well  taken  in the early 20th century.  The image is part of the Lawrence Collection.  It was likely taken by Robert French  who was the chief photographer of the collection and  responsible for photographing three-quarters of the Lawrence Collection.

Tobernalt Co Sligo

Tobernalt Co Sligo from the Laurence Collection in National Museum of Ireland


Many alterations occurred in 1921 through the work of the locals and Fr Divine of Carraroe. The great storm ‘Debbie’ destroyed much of the site in 1961 when two large trees fell. Restorations, new shrines and the construction of the small bridge were made that year (2).

I visited the site in October 2014 . Below are some photos of the well  from my visit. As you can see the well itself is pretty much the same but  the area around the well has been landscaped over the years. With the inclusion of stone steps and paths and a large grotto behind the well.


Tobarnalt Co Sligo 2014

Tobarnalt Co Sligo 2014 Image taken in the same direction as the image from the Laurence Collection.


Tobarnalt October 2014


Grotto behind the holy well at Tobarnalt 2014







One comment on “Tobarnalt Co Sligo, images from the past and present

  1. Finola says:

    Gosh – how great to have that historical evidence!

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