Holy Well: OS Grid Reference — NO 5425 6814
Also Known as:
Turn left in Kirkton of Menmuir towards Bridgend past the giant hillfort and rock art of White Caterthun, cross the Bridge of Lethnot, and continue to the holiday caravan park at Drumcairn, where you can park up. Walk along the farm track on the south side of the caravan park and enter the field through the steel gate, and keep walking along the edge of the field until you come to the spring below the old manse.
Archaeology and History
Andrew Jervise writes in his History and Traditions of the Land of the Lindsays, “…the Blessed Virgin was patron of Lethnot, and, during the incumbency of the late Mr Symers, several votive offerings, consisting of pieces of silver money, were found in the fountain near the church, which still bears the name of St.Mary’s Well…”
On the day of my field visit, the field in which the spring flows was occupied by skittish cattle who spent their time drinking, so I didn’t get close up to it, but it appears that any housing to the spring has been removed.
Visible to the south are the hillforts of White and Brown Caterthun; and 1¾ miles south east of St Mary’s Well, on the southern slope of the Brown Caterthun is the site of the Hermitage Notre Domine Maria de Kilgery, while its sub chapel and adjoining Lady Well of Chapelton in Menmuir are 2¾ miles away to the south-east, which may suggest a pre-Christian ritual landscape dedicated to one of the Earth goddesses.
- Jervise, Andrew, The History and Traditions of the Land of The Lindsays in Angus and Mearns, 2nd Edition, David Douglas, Edinburgh, 1882
- Jervise, A, Notices of the Localities of the Sculptured Stone Monuments at St Vigeans, Inchbrayoch, Pitmuies, and Menmuir, in Angus, and of Fordoun in the Mearns. Part IV. (pp 458-66), Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Volume 2, 1855-56.
© Paul T. Hornby 2016, The Northern Antiquarian