Old well beside Paisley Abbey :: Shared Description

The Rev A R Howell, in his 1929 work "Paisley Abbey: Its History, Architecture, & Art", mentions the rediscovery of the well in his day; he identifies it as the old Balgonie Well: "on the south side of the Abbey, east of the Place of Paisley and quite close to Abbey Street, an old well has recently been discovered. It is remembered as 'the Balgonie Well', said to have been sunk in or about 1579 by William Erskine of Balgonie, parson of Campsie, who was at that date for a short time Commendator of the Abbey. In more modern times, the water was famed for making tea. An anonymous donor has liberally made provision for the protection of this interesting relic of the past by erecting a wall around it, with cope and grid". The nearby stairs in the angle of a wall were rebuilt at around the same time; these were likewise the gift of an anonymous donor.

Howell's description draws, in part, on Robert Brown's 1886 "History of Paisley", which supplies more information about William Erskine of Balgonie. In the same work, a footnote adds, about Erskine, that "while at the Abbey he caused a well to be sunk in it there, which is known at this day by the name of the 'Balgonie Well'. Upwards of half-a-century ago, the water in this well was considered best for making tea of any in Paisley, and was therefore greatly used for that purpose in all parts of the town".

Beside the well is Place of Paisley; though no longer using water from this well, it now houses, amongst other things, the abbey's cafe and tea-room. The site of the well is marked as a blue dot on large-scale OS mapping. In its present-day appearance, it is similar to one that can be seen at the Gallowgreen, not far from here: Link
by Lairich Rig
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NS4863 : Old well beside Paisley Abbey by Lairich Rig
NS4863 : Old well beside Paisley Abbey by Lairich Rig

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Created: Thu, 23 May 2019, Updated: Thu, 23 May 2019

The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2019 Lairich Rig, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.

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