NS4175 : Strowan's Well

taken 11 years ago, near to Bellsmyre, West Dunbartonshire, Great Britain

Strowan's Well
Strowan's Well
The well itself appears at the centre of the photograph. The small stream that issues from it flows into NS4175 : Gruggies Burn; see that photograph for context.

The well is shown on the first-edition OS map, which was surveyed in 1860 (it is not named there, but the name Strowan's Well appears on later maps). On the first-edition OS map, there is a building almost facing it across the burn; on later maps, it is called Strowan's Well Cottage.

This well was once the subject of a legal dispute; the following is from records of the Court of Session: "This was an appeal in a petition presented in the sheriff-court of Dumbartonshire by Mr. Geils of Dumbuck against William Thompson and others, inhabitants of Dumbarton, to interdict them from trespassing on the lands of Dumbuck. From time immemorial the public had been in the habit of drawing water from a stream which ran through the lands of Dumbuck; and in 1866 certain of the inhabitants of Dumbarton erected a well, called Strowan's Well, a short distance up the stream from the highway. Mr. Geils did not interfere at the time, but some time after he resolved to carry the water to the highway. The pipes he laid down for the purpose were cut, and in the spring of 1869 he cut off the supply to the well at a point considerably above the well. On 2d July 1869 certain of the inhabitants of Dumbarton went to the point at which the supply was cut off, and removed the obstruction. Mr. Geils presented to the Sheriff a petition for interdict. The respondents averred that the footpath to the well and the well had been public from time immemorial."

For Mr Geils of Dumbuck, see NS4673 : The Geils Memorial. The details of what was carried out at the well in 1866 are provided by a similar account of the same events: "some years ago a basin was formed for the well by public subscription, near to the public road, but upon Mr Geil's lands, and without opposition upon his part. But he afterwards resolved to remove this basin to the highway."

(The words quoted from the records of the Court of Session might be taken as meaning that the well was given its name in 1866; however, it is far more likely that Strowan's Well, which was furnished with its basin in that year, had already borne that name for many years.)

The well is also mentioned, in passing, in one of the occasional "Streetwise" features that appear in the Lennox Herald newspaper. In the edition of Friday the 30th of January, 2009, the subject of the feature is "St Rhonan's Lane"; after discussing which particular Rhonan/Ronan this street-name refers to, the article comments that "in addition to the Well of St Ronan at Kilmaronock, others are named after him, which brings us to Strowan's Well at the quarry near Crosslet in Dumbarton, from which Strowan's Road and NS4175 : Strowan's Well Road take their names" (for Crosslet, see NS4175 : Crosslet House).
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NS4175, 112 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Friday, 11 February, 2011   (more nearby)
Wednesday, 16 February, 2011
Geographical Context
Water resources  Historic sites and artefacts 
Image Buckets ?
Well > Well   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4148 7529 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:56.6657N 4:32.3919W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4147 7530
View Direction
Southeast (about 135 degrees)
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Other Tags
Gruggies Burn 

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