Healing Well: OS Grid Reference – NS 68613 65094
Archaeology & History
This old well, named after Queen Mary (one of at least three dedicated to her in Lanarkshire), was illustrated on the earliest Ordnance Survey map of the area in 1864. Local tradition tells us that the site gained its name when the great Mary Queen of Scots visited this old healing well, amidst a period when she stayed at Provan Hall 1½ mile away. Both she and her horse stopped and drank here for refreshment.
In the 19th and early 20th century, the well was converted into a pump and supplied the water to a row of cottages that used to be here. When we visited the site yesterday, no trace of the pump, nor any spring of water could be found. It seems that a huge pile of industrial crap has been piled on top of the well, then trees planted to give the impression that Nature has taken back the place. The well seems to have been completely destroyed (the photo here shows the spot where the well should be, just a few yards into the young trees). Due to this site being an important part of Scotland’s heritage, its ignorant destruction must be condemned.
Acknowledgements: Big thanks to the team – Nina Harris, Paul Hornby and Frank Mercer – for their work here. And to Dan Holdsworth and John Bestow for their additional input.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian