St. Patrick’s Well, Old Kilpatrick, Dumbartonshire

Holy Well (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – NS 4631 7307

Also Known as:

  1. Trees’ Well

Archaeology & History

Photo of the Well in 1893

Sadly there are no longer any remains of this holy well which was found, “beside the church dedicated to St Patrick — which was said to be built on soil brought from Ireland in honor of its patron,” wrote John Bruce in 1893.  He told that its waters had “been used until lately from time immemorial by the villagers, but now has been found unfit for use and consequently ordered to be closed up.”  Although its waters were used for baptisms, he made no mention of any medicinal repute, which it surely would have possessed.

Site of well on 1939 map

The original position of the well, according to Mr Bruce, was “adjoining the church” but, according to the Ordnance Survey lads, when they came here in 1963 they located a drinking fountain on the other side of the road about 80 yards to the west and designated that as being St Patrick’s Well.  The place had earlier been given a wooden sign saying “St Partrick’s Well.”  Local tradition attributes St. Patrick as originally coming from this village, whose saint’s day is March 17.

The place was also known as Trees’ Well, suggestive, perhaps, of a local person, although I can find no reference as to who or what that might have been.

References:

  1. Bruce, John, The History of the Parish of West or Old Kilpatrick,  John Smith: Glasgow 1893.

Acknowledgements:  Huge thanks for use of the Ordnance Survey map in this site profile, reproduced with the kind permission of the National Library of Scotland

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

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