Holy Well (lost): OS Grid Reference – NN 781 015
Also Known as:
- Bruce’s Well
Archaeology & history
Very little is known about this long-lost site, mentioned just once in Alexander Barty’s (1944) standard history book on Dunblane. Its exact location is difficult to cite with any certainty, although a ‘Well’ is marked on the 1862 OS-map not far from where Mr Barty proclaimed it to be:
“In the close known as Regent’s Square in Braeport, opposite the public school, was a well called Bruce’s Well and also St Blane’s Well, and probably water from this supplied a well in Cathedral Market Garden to the west.”
St Blane is a Celtic saint whom tradition says gave his name to the town and whose festival date is August 10. In the area of the Allan Water St Blane was said to have set up his cell, which eventually became the prestigious ceremonial temple known as Dunblane Cathedral (although some evidence points to his original settlement being on the higher ground above the cathedral). Originally born on the Isle of Bute around 565 CE, another St Blane’s Well can be found at Kingarth on his home island.
- Armitage, Paul, The Holy Wells of Stirling and District, TNA 2019.
- Barty, Alexander B., The History of Dunblane, Eneas Mackay: Stirling 1944.
- Towill, Edwin Sprott, The Saints of Scotland, St Andrews Press 2012.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian