Trongate Well, Glasgow, Lanarkshire

Healing Well (destroyed):  Os Grid Reference – NS 5931 6500

Also Known as:

  1. West Port Well

Archaeology & History

Once found near the old crossroads of Trongate, Arygle Street and Stockwell Street, the Trongate Well is another of old Glasgow’s lost sites, piped-off and added to the city’s water system sometime in the 19th century.  A pity, as the fresh water from here was highly regarded (moreso than the modern stuff with its chlorine and other unnecessary additives).  The well could be found where the Highland Gaelic Society built their own public house and, as a result, was very popular with local folk.  It was,

“Opposite the old Black Bull in Trongate…afterwards covered in, which was famous in the palmy days of cold punch, and which is alluded to in Cyril Thornton as ‘the West Port Well.’” (MacGeorge 1880)

Old cattle markets were held here and MacGeorge (1880) wrote how it was a very popular and favourite place in its day, “surrounded by large numbers of the town’s people waiting a supply.”

The old Black Bull pub was much used by drovers and across from it was the old draw well, whose waters were of such renown that they were described in the verse, The Lament of Capt Paton, thus:

“Or if a bowl was mentioned,
The Captain he would ring,
And bid Nelly to the West Port,
And a stoup of water bring;
Then he would mix the genuine stuff,
As they made it long ago,
With limes that on his property
In Trinidad did grow.
O! we ne’er shall taste the like
Of Captain Pateon’s punch no mo’!”


  1. Bennett, Paul, Ancient and Holy Wells of Glasgow, TNA 2017.
  2. MacGeorge, Andrew, Old Glasgow, Blackie & Son: Glasgow 1880.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian 

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