Twentypenny Well, Duddingston, Edinburgh, Midlothian

Healing Well:  OS Grid Reference – NT 2815 7259

Getting Here

Twentypenny Well on 1852 map

1852 map showing the well

From Duddingston, head along the Old Church Lane to the Delf Well, and from then to the Horse Well and, from here, walk along the small footpath that runs along the northwest side of Duddingston Loch.  Less than 100 yards past the Horse Well you’ll notice, on the left-hand side of the path, a stone trough with a fast flow of water running into it.  That’s the spot!

Archaeology & History

Another little-known and all-but forgotten healing well, illustrated on the 1852 map of the area, but all history and traditions relating to the site are seemingly forgotten (surely not?).

The well at the path-side

The well at the path-side

The clear drinking water runs into the stone trough

The clear drinking water runs into the stone trough

The well originally appeared a little further up the slope, closer to the road in the brambles, but Time has brought the waters lower.  The name “twentypenny” is a curious one.  We know of many Penny Wells across the country: some (like the trees) are sites where coins were given to the spirits of the place as an offering for goodness or to heal a given affliction; others were so-named as the price of one penny was given for a draught of the waters.  Twenty pennies is something of an anomaly.  Somebody somewhere must surely know something?

References:

  1. Bennett, Paul, Ancient and Holy Wells of Edinburgh, TNA: Alva 2017.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

 

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  55.940937, -3.151934 Twentypenny Well

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