Ladies Well, Alva, Clackmannanshire

Holy Well:  OS Grid Reference – NS 8857 9788

Also Known as:

  1. Wishing Well

Getting Here

1918 postcard of Ladies Well
1918 postcard of Ladies Well

From Alva, take the signs to walk up the gorgeous Alva Glen gorge, past the site of the Dwarf’s Tomb, over the bridge past the first waterfall and up footpath into the glen.  The path runs parallel with the gorge and a few hundred yards along you’ll reach a small footbridge.  Immediately before this, on the right, coming down through the crags by the side of the path, the waters fall from the well in question.

Archaeology & History

Waters of the Lady Well on a dark, grey evening
Waters of the Lady Well on a dark, grey evening

The history of this site is seemingly hidden.  Little has been written of it and its dedication to some ‘Lady’ is an oddity.  I can find no specifics telling who the ‘lady’ in question is.  The other Lady Well at Tillicoultry, a mile or two east, is equally bereft of historical certitude.  Whether it is another dedication to the supposed ‘virgin’ Mary of the christian cult, or a local lady whose name has long since been forgotten, we do not know.  Additional info on this site would be most helpful.

Shown on an early postcard of the Ava Glen and highlighted in Mr Pithie’s (1982) work, the waters here—running down the crag-face from a spring at the top—are fine, fresh and almost sweet-tasting, rich in minerals and healthy nutrients no doubt.  Without doubt, I’d recommend a drink of this every time you walk past here! (apologies for the dark photo – I’ll get a better one next time we’re up there)


  1. Corbett, L., et al., The Ochil Hills, Forth Naturalist & Historian 1994.
  2. Pithie, A., Views of Alloa and the Neighbourhood, Clackmannan District Libraries 1982.

Acknowledgements:  Grateful thanks to Lisa Samson for help with directions.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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