Arns Well, Glasgow, Lanarkshire

Healing Well (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – NS 5996 6406

Also Known as:

  1. Arms Well

Archaeology & History

1865 OS-map of Arns Well, Glasgow
1865 OS-map of Arns Well, Glasgow

Taking its name from the local dialect word relating to Alder trees (Alnus glutinosua) that grew above the source of the waters, Arns Well had already been destroyed by the end of the 19th century, but prior to this it was renowned as one of the social gathering places in Glasgow Green.  Highlighted on the original Ordnance Survey of the area in 1865, Arns Well was also a place where artists and poets gathered – and a number of old prints of Glasgow were drawn from here.

Originally the waters emerged from marshy ground and used to be known as “the Peat Bog,” but by 1777 a small well house was built to contain the waters and make it a feature in the wider architectural landscape of the Glasgow Green park area.  Once the spring had been channelled, its waters “were considered to be amongst the best to be had in Glasgow, particularly for making tea and adding to whisky.”  In James Clelands’s (1813) municipal survey of the area he told how some thought that the water supply from Arns Well was “inexhaustible.”


  1. Anonymous, Glasgow Green and Roundabout, Friends of the Peoples Palace: Bridgeton n.d. (c.1983)
  2. Bennett, Paul, Ancient and Holy Wells of Glasgow, TNA: 2017.
  3. Brotchie, T.C.F., “Holy Wells in and Around Glasgow,” in Old Glasgow Club Transactions, volume 4, 1920.
  4. Cleland, James, A Description of the Manner of Improving the Green of Glasgow, R. Chapman: Glasgow 1813.
  5. Grant, William (ed.), The Scottish National Dictionary – volume 1, SNDA: Edinburgh 1934.
  6. Renwick, Robert & Lindsay, John, The History of Glasgow – volume 3, Maclehose: Glasgow 1934.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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