Tammie Blair’s Well, Dunblane, Stirlingshire

Healing Well (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – NN 780 010

Archaeology & History

Which one is Tammie Blair’s Well?

It’s difficult to work out the exact position of this lost well, even from Alexander Barty’s (1944) description of the place.  There are several unnamed ‘Wells’ on the early OS-maps very close to where this one was said to be, but in the end I’m relying on (sort of) educated guesswork regarding its precise location.  Please forgive my ineptitude here…

That aside, it’s another water source that has long since gone and is only remembered thanks to Mr Barty’s excellent local history research in the first-half of the 20th century.  He told us:

“This well stood beside the path which leads from the Bridgend up the right bank of the Allan to the Haugh.  A drawer of water at one time had to go down about 15 steps to the well.  It may have been constructed after the making of the railway, as previously a little burn flowed from the Bridgend west of the railway down to the Allan, the lower part of which is still open next Willowbank House.  This well may therefore have been made by the Railway Company to supply dwellings in Bridgend.  It took its name from a man, Blair, who had charge of the railway gates there prior to the erection of the iron footbridge over the railway line.”

It may be the ‘Well’ marked lower-centre on the above 1863 OS-map above.  But I aint sure.

References:

  1. Barty, Alexander B., The History of Dunblane, Eneas Mackay: Stirling 1944.

Acknowledgements:  Huge thanks to the staff at Dunblane Library for their help.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

 

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  56.186656, -3.966476 Tammie Blair\'s Well

Bishop’s Well, Dunblane, Stirlingshire

Holy Well (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – NN 78126 01281

Also Known as:

  1. Canmore ID 24681

Archaeology & History

Bishop’s Well on 1899 map

This now-lost holy well was a place whose history was integrally tied to the adjacent and also destroyed Bishop’s Palace: a large ostentatious building that was already in ruins in 1579, just below Dunblane Cathedral. It was the water supply for the bishops who lived here; although exactly when it received its original dedication, and by whom, seems unknown.

The best description we have of it is in Alex Barty’s (1944) excellent history work on Dunblane, where he wrote:

“Perhaps the best-known well in Dunblane was the Bishop’s Well, in the Bishop’s Yard or Grassyard.  This well is now dry and the explanation is that it was fed by a strong stream from about Kirk Street which was incorporated into the town sewer when it was laid in Kirk Street.  There was a right-of-way, or at least a  privilege, held by some of the inhabitants to pass through the north end of the Manse ground out by a gate which still exists and down a path to the well.”

Mr Barty informed us that the line of the footpath was still visible in his day, but it has long since gone.  When Archie McKerrarcher (1992) wrote about the site, he described minor remains of it still extant, telling that “the Bishop’s Well can be seen marked by circular stonework in the grass”; but this has now also been destroyed.  One would think that the local christian community would at least have tried to preserve this ancient site.

References:

  1. Barty, Alexander B., The History of Dunblane, Eneas Mackay: Stirling 1944.
  2. Dennison, E.P. & Coleman, R., Historic Dunblane: The Archaeological Implications of Development, RCAHMS: Edinburgh 1997.
  3. McKerracher, Archie, The Street and Place-Names of Dunblane and District, Stirling District Libraries 1991.

Acknowledgements:  To Paul Hornby in his help seeking out this site; and to the staff at Dunblane Library.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

 

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  56.188506, -3.965497 Bishop\'s Well