Holy Well: OS Grid Reference – NS 779 931
Archaeology & History
Very close to the edge of the M9, this old water source is thankfully still visible, though not in its original state. At the bottom of the ridge, loosely enclosed in the grounds of St. Thomas Well House, we find that the original well has been submerged into the pond which covers it.
I’ve not yet found the mythic origins behind the dedication to this site, though St. Thomas’ Day is the winter solstice on December 21, and his mythic status was that of didymus, or twin. In Yorkshire, folk customs surrounding this figure have been found to be inextricably intertwined with death rites, Robin Hood and shamanism! But this Stirlingshire site is as yet silent. The presence of the King’s Park cup-and-ring stone on the hillside above the well may have something to do with its dedication; it’s likely that an old tomb once accompanied this cup-and-ring, but all remains appear to have vanished.
- Attwater, Donald, The Penguin Dictionary of Saints, Penguin: Harmondsworth 1965.
Morris, Ruth & Frank, Scottish Healing Wells, Alethea: Sandy 1982.
- Fleming, J.S., Old Nooks of Stirling, Delineated and Described, Munro & Jamieson: Stirling 1898.
- Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments, Scotland, Stirlingshire – volume 2, HMSO: Edinburgh 1963.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian