St. Oswald’s Well was described in Hew Scott’s (1920) magnum opus as being beside the parish church of the same name, but other references to it are scant. An old well-house was built besides or over the waters, which subsequently became known as the Kirk Well due to its proximity to the church, 125 yards to the northwest. All trace of it appears to have gone. The road to the west of the site also 125 yards away, called Kirkwell Road, seems to be the last piece of folk memory that remains.
St. Oswald himself was a British tribal leader of Northumbrian descent who, legend tells, went to Iona and became a christian. He had to leave the island eventually and go back into Yorkshire to bring peace back into the northern counties. Whether this Well of his was dedicated to him as a result of his journey from back south from Iona, we do not know. His saint’s day is August 5—very close indeed to that old heathen celebration time of Lughnasadh or Lammas. Most likely this is not just a coincidence, but will have related to what local folk were doing before the christian impositions.
Close to the ancient boundary of north Lanarkshire—if not actually on it—and looking down on the River Clyde, was once a prehistoric burial mound, probably Bronze Age in nature. Described first of all in David Ure’s (1793) early survey of Rutherglen, he told that:
“A tumulus of earth, supposed to have been originally a burying place, was lately demolished in the estate of Shawfield, a few yards from Polmadie; and the place where it stood converted into a mill-dam. None of its contents attracted the particular attention of the workmen employed in removing it.”
The site was subsequently referenced in Hugh MacDonald’s (1860) excellent work, but no remains of it now exist.
In days of olde, close to the modern M8 on the edge of the modern industrial estate north of Eastfield, was once an old solitary tomb whose home had laid here, undisturbed, until the coming of the Industrialists. Thought to have been a Bronze Age tumulus, it was destroyed sometime around 1768 according to the regional historian David Ure (1793) who told that,
“A small mound at Hamilton Farm was levelled about 25 years ago. In it was found a “stone coffin” containing human bones.”
The Royal Commission (1978) lads think this may have been the same prehistoric tomb that was reported found on the nearby estate of Farme and destroyed that same year. We have no idea what became of the remains and no trace is left of the site.
Royal Commission on Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland. Lanarkshire: An Inventory of the Prehistoric and Roman Monuments, HMSO: Edinburgh 1978.
Ure, David, The History of Rutherglen and East Kilbride, Glasgow 1793.