Healing Wells (destroyed): OS Grid Reference – NS 77 91
Archaeology & History
The old line drawing here is all that remains of a pair of healing wells that once bubbled up within their ancient stone well-houses, close to each other, in the middle of the old woods west of Stirling in the massive quarries at Gillies Hill. It’s possible that the large pools of water that are now in the overgrown quarries are thanks to these ancient wells; although one of them was close to the old building of Fir Park, whose overgrown remains are within the woods at grid-reference NS 7787 9124. Very little has been written about these wells, but thankfully the local historian Mr Fleming (1898) captured their demise in his lovely antiquarian work, saying:
“The sketch, opposite (taken in 1850) of the picturesque wells, then situated in a marshy dell and surrounded by a dense pine wood near to the ancient ‘Boiling Springs’, now dried up by the sinking of the lime pits, and immediately off the old bridle road from Stirling to Glasgow by Murrayshall, shows very ancient remains of wells connected with the original water supply of Stirling by lead pipes from ‘Lessfeerie Springs’, situated in the Touch Hills. This supply was begun in 1774, and thus antiquity and interest are given to the sketch. These wells, with their fringes of mosses and ferns and bramble bushes, are now, with the pine wood, demolished, and the whole face of the district changed by the operations in a quarry recently opened up in Gillies Hill crag, causing the locality to be now unrecognizable.”
Fleming, J.S., Old Nooks of Stirling, Delineated and Described, Munro & Jamieson: Stirling 1898.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian