Category Archives: Holy Wells

When water first emerges from the Earth they’re known as ’springs’ of water; those with stone troughs or basins into which the water falls are ‘wells.’ I don’t see much difference misself! And if water was of any importance to our ancestors (anyone who thinks it wasn’t is probably a bit slow…), such a clinical definition is of little importance. Many water-sites possessed great healing or therapeutic properties, as evidenced by chemical analyses (mainly in Victorian times, when a bittova craze on these wells was in vogue), aswell as folk-tradition, plus vast numbers of subjective encounters. To ancient societies – indeed, to myself – water is our blood, or the blood of the Earth. Treating this liquid as little more than a ‘commodity’, aswell as polluting it, should be a criminal offence – simple as!

Mineral Well, Portobello, Edinburgh, Midlothian

Healing Well (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – NT 314 735 Archaeology & History This was one of two medicinal springs that could once be found in old Portobello village. Like its companion Chalybeate Well nearly a mile northwest, in the early 19th century … Continue reading

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Spa Well, Davidson’s Mains, Edinburgh, Midlothian

Healing Well:  OS Grid Reference – NT 2049 7524 Also Known as: Spaw Well Well of Spaw Getting Here From the west end of Prince Street in Edinburgh central, take the (A90) Queensferry Road.  Go along here for 2.2 miles (3.5km) where … Continue reading

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Bowfoot Well, Edinburgh, Midlothian

Healing Well:  OS Grid Reference – NT 25500 73417 Also Known as: Canmore ID 52178 West Bow Well Getting Here Once you’re in Edinburgh, there are so many ways to get here (and it’s easy to get lost with city directions, depending … Continue reading

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Holy Well, Auchtertool, Fife

Holy Well:  OS Grid Reference – NT 20813 90189 Also Known as: Canmore ID 52985 Getting Here Along the B925 road between Dunfermline and Kirkcadly, ⅔ of a mile (1.07km) west of Auchtertool village, go down the small track leading down to … Continue reading

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St. George’s Well, Edinburgh, Midlothian

Holy Well:  OS Grid Reference – NT 24401 74070 Also Known as: Canmore ID 133173 Getting Here In Edinburgh, get to the west-end of Princes Street (nearest the castle), and where there’s the curious mess of 6 roads nearly skewing into … Continue reading

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St. Bernard’s Well, Edinburgh, Midlothian

Holy Well:  OS Grid Reference – NT 24452 74250 Also Known as: Canmore ID 52586 Getting Here So you’re in Edinburgh.  Get to the west-end of Princes Street (nearest the castle), and where there’s the curious mess of 6 roads nearly … Continue reading

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Cruckles Well, Manningham, Bradford, West Yorkshire

Sacred Well (lost):  OS Grid Reference – SE 160 339 Archaeology & History In an essay by great regional historian Harry Speight (1912) on the ancient tracks of Bradford and district, he mentions this “Cruckleswell” which was first described in 1602. … Continue reading

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St. Margaret’s Well, Old Pentland, Midlothian

Holy Well (covered):  OS Grid Reference – NT 26388 66338 Archaeology & History Described in Hope & Telford’s (1813) rare work, this little-known holy well has escaped the attention of all surveyors since then.  It was one of four sacred … Continue reading

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Borgie Well, Cambuslang, Lanarkshire

Sacred Well:  OS Grid Reference – NS 64412 60194 Getting Here There must be an easier way to visit this site than the method I used.  Which was:  along Cambuslang’s Main Street (A724), turn up the B759 Greenlees Road for nearly … Continue reading

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Wanstead Spa, Redbridge, London, Essex

Healing Well (lost):  OS Grid Reference – TQ 40 87 Also Known as: Wanstead Spring Archaeology & History The exact location of this site remains a mystery.  Addison (1951) mentions it as being “close to the Blake Hall Road” where … Continue reading

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