Holy Well (destroyed): OS Grid Reference – NT 2763 6970
Also Known as:
- Canmore ID 51720
- Christening Well
- Lady Well
Archaeology & History
Mentioned in passing by John Geddie (1926)—who was skeptical of any ‘holy’ associations here—this was one of two holy wells in Liberton parish with the same name. Whilst one is on the northwest side of the parish, this was closer to the centre of the village on the piece of land known as the Kirk Brae. It was some 200 yards northeast of the old church at the crossroads, originally dedicated to St. Cuthbert, whose feast day was March 20 — or right next to the Spring Equinox, perhaps when the waters here had greatest virtues.
In George Good’s definitive history of Liberton (1893), he described this Our Lady’s Well to “the east side of the church,” where he said there existed a public right of way to it from the public road.
Highlighted on the earliest OS-map of the region, little is known of it via the written records. Our primary account comes from the Name Book of 1852, where they told:
“An ancient well, known by more ancient settlers as the Christening Well, from the circumstance of this being the only one, from which water was taken in Ancient times for Baptizing; the water being considered the purest; hence it was dedicated to the Virgin.”
- Bennett, Paul, Ancient and Holy Wells of Edinburgh, TNA: Alva 2017.
- Geddie, John, The Fringes of Edinburgh, W. & R. Chambers: Edinburgh 1926.
- Good, George, Liberton in Ancient and Modern Times, Andrew Elliott: Edinburgh 1893.
- Morris, Ruth & Frank, Scottish Healing Wells, Alethea: Sandy 1982.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian