An Updated Hand-List of Angus Wells
As previously, names in square brackets denote locations of wells, not their specific names. Note that there may be duplications due to name distortion and confusion, some at least are place-names rather than existing water features, and also the fact that many of these wells may no longer exist.
Identification is made difficult because of the nature of the sources, changing names and destruction of the sites in some instances.
1. Aberneathan Well, two miles NW of Kirriemuir. Possibly from the Pictish personal name Nechtan, either St Nechtan or King Nechtan?
2. Agricola Well. At Castleton, Eassie, a reputed Roman site; supposed to have been named by locals after the Roman general, but more probably given the name by a local antiquary.
3. [Auchterhouse], healing well near the Kirkton of Auchterhouse.
4. [Balmossie Den], near Broughty Ferry.
5. [Balnaboth, Cortachy], near chapel ruins.
6. Barrel Well, Brechin.
7. Batties Well, Haughead, Arbirlot.
8. Battle Well, Battle Drum, Montreathmont Moor, Brechin. See blog post 15 April 2016 (‘Wells Once More’).
9. Beardie’s Well, Brechin. A well which was on the north side of the Nether Wynd in Brechin, supposedly the property of the Earls of Crawford. This well was therefore supposed to be linked with Alexander, the 4th Earl of Crawford, one of whose nicknames was Beardie.
10. Bell’s Witter, Clach of Glentaire, Clova.
11. [Benvie] Well haunted by the White Lady since plague times. The well, at one time, was called 'The Medicine Well', though this may not have been its 'official' name. See blog post 29 December 2014.
12. Blackshank Well, near Aucharroch, Kingoldrum. Marked as ‘chalybeate’ on maps.
13. Blind Well, Kingoldrum. One of the earliest attested wells in the county. This name appears in a document of 1458 from Arbroath Abbey and has the equivalent Gaelic name Tybyrnoquhyg. Adam Watson thinks this refers to water ‘out of sight due to vegetation’. The later form of the name was Tipperwhig, though the English and Gaelic names may not in face be equivalents, in which case there is a chance that Tybyrnoquhyg/Tipperwhig comes from Tobar na Cubhaig, well of the cuckoo.
14. Bradwell, Kettins. Warden, Angus or Forfarshire, vol 4, points out that there is a charter dated 1292-3 in which a charter of about 1292-3, in which Hugh of Over, Lord of Ketenes, granted ‘his well in his lands and Abthenage of Ketenes, called Bradwell, with its aqueduct bounded, and servitude of watergage" to the Abbey of Cupar’. This was also called Bride’s Well, near the Stoneye Cottages to the east of the Dundee - Coupar Angus Road. The water travelled to the Abbey by an aqueduct and fed into ponds containing fish.
15. Bra Well, Stracathro. According to Alexander Warden, Angus or Forfarshire, volume 5, this was also known as Braul’s Well and St Brude’s Well. But it had been ‘drained long ago’. It seems more likely the name is derived from St Bride or St Rule than Brude, though the latter presents more intriguing possibilities. Name mutated in later years to ‘braw’, as in ‘good’.
16. The Burnhead Well, Dundee. (Corner of Calendar Close and Seagate, near present Commercial Street.)
17. Camperdown or Cammerdown Well, Dunnichen. This was renamed after the late 18th century naval encounter won by Duncan of Lundie. It was originally St Causnan’s Well (there was a St Causnan’s Chapel nearby.) Causnan again is a colloquial form of Constantine. Local dignitary George Dempster took it upon himself to give the spring its new name following the battle.
18. Camp Well, near the site of supposed Roman site at Campmuir, Kettins.
19. Cardinal’s Well, south of Lownie Hill, near Dunnichen. Local tradition says it was named after Cardinal Beaton, who favoured this spot. The cardinal is also associated with many castles in Angus. It was said that the water from the well was conveyed for some special use at Arbroath Abbey, which makes no sense as there was an abundant source of water closer to the abbey. However, it may reflect a lingering, if muddled, tradition of the special powers inherent in the water here.
20. Carlin Well, Craigton of Airlie. Now vanished and named after the Cailleach, the Old Hag of Scottish Folklore. Adjacent is Carlinwell Farm.
21. Cartyheugh Well, Kelly Den, St Vigeans.
22. Cattle Well, Lochmill, near Kirriemuir.
23. Cauld Water Well (also called the Cat Craig Well and The WishingWell), Monifieth. See blog post 15 April 2016 (‘Wells Once More’).
24. Chapel Well, near Whitemire, Aberlemno.
25. College Well, St Michael’s Mount, Brechin.
26. Corryvannoch Well, on the slopes of Mount Blair. The most famous healing well in Angus where pilgrimages would be made and sick children carried.
27. Cowgait Well, Dundee. Situated at the corner of Murraygait and Cowgait.
28. Craig Well, Lundie.
29. Crew Well, near Auchtertyre, Newtyle. See blog post 15 April 2016 (‘Wells Once More’).
30. The Cross Well, Dundee. See above.
31. Cuttle Well, the Den, Kirriemuir. One of the more conspicuous and best loved wells in Angus, it has been damaged in recent times by land slips and is ripe for restoration.
32. Docken Well, Scad Cairns, Glen Quharity. Also called Dockan Well, Docan Well, Docken Wall.
33. There is a nearby East Docken Well (also on the slopes of Cat Law). Border of Lintrathen and Kingoldrum.
34. The Dog Well, Dundee. (Murraygate, Dundee, but fed by the Lady Well to the north.)
35. Dripping Well, Arbroath. Adjacent to natural-arch called the Castle Gate, Arbroath cliffs.
36. Droustie’s Well, Lochlee, near the home of the Dark Age saint who lived in Glen Esk. Also, more formally known as St Drostan’s Well. It was located in a field named ‘Piper’s Shade’ and cured all sorts of diseases. When some jealous healers poisoned the well some locals stones them to death and buried them in a circle around the spring.
37. Duckladge Well, Black Hill, Lintrathen.
38. Dundas Well, Boath Chapel, Pitlivie Moor, Arbirlot.
39. [Edzell Castle] Edzell.
40. Falcon Well, Glen Quharity.
41. [Finavon Hill], site of fort, Oathlaw.
42. [Fish Street] Dundee. Opposite Shore Terrace.
43. God’s Well, Swirlburn, Arbirlot.
44. Golan Well, Auchenchapel, Glen Isla.
45. Golly Well, Milton of Carmyllie.
[Hangie’s Well, Cargill. This is a dubious example, cited by Andrew Jervise in Memorials of Angus and the Mearns, in that Cargill is in Perthshire and not Angus (so we won't count it), though Jervise states that it may have been in Angus once. The well was on the property of a local hangman and, when it was excavated, a large number of human bones were found here. So good a tale that we forgive the Perthshire-ness of the location.]
46. Hassock Well, North Whitehills, Forfar.
47. Helly Well, near Shelterfield, Arbirlot.
48. Hays Well, Arbroath.
49. Hen Well, east of Finavon Hill. Note nearby place-name Henwellburn.
50. Hogg’s Well, Fairy Knowe, Dunnichen
51. Holy Well, Balnaboth, Cortachy. Near ancient church ruins.
52. Holy Well, Broughty Ferry.
53. Hore Well, Lundie.
54. Horse Well, Smithton Hill, Lundie.
55. Iron Harrow Well, south of Hayston Hill, Tealing.
56. Jenkin’s Well, in Balrownie Wood, Menmuir.
57. Jenny’s Well, Arbroath. Near the Montrose Road, at the north end of Fisher Acre. Also a place-name.
58. King’s Well, east of Fallaws, Carmyllie.
59. King’s Well, Newtyle, north-west of Newbigging. No known legendary association with any kings, but there is a string of Macbeth associations through Strathmore. See blog post 15 April 2016 (‘Wells Once More’).
60. [Kirkden Well] renowned for reducing swelling in feet and legs. See blog post 15 April 2016 (‘Wells Once More’).
61. Knellock Well, Gallows Hill, Inverarity.
62. Lady Well, Auchterhouse.
63. Ladle Well, Arbroath. Possibly once Lady Well?
64. Lady Well, near Rosehill, Lunan Den, Brechin.
65. Lady Well, Dundee. See above.
66. Lady Well, Farnell.
67. Lady Well, Glen Isla. Filled in during 19th century. See blog post 15 April 2016 (‘Wells Once More’).
68. Lady Well, Chapelton, Menmuir.[Note also the place-name Ladlewell, east of Forfar: possibly another corruption of Lady Well?]
69. Lammer Well, St Vigeans.(Same as Lanuner Well?)
70. [Logie-Pert] well in kirk-yard, used to treat sores.
71. Lunan Well, Lunanhead Forfar.
72. McComie’s Well, south of Creagan Caise, Glen Isla.
73. Madie's Well, on the banks of the Lunan, Kinnell. Nearby was Madie's Heugh. Possibly a corruption of parish patron St Maelrubha (or otherwise Magdalen?).
74. Maid’s Well, Rescobie. Possibly connected with St Triduana who once reputedly lived here.
75. Martin’s Den, Logie-Pert. Used to treat scurvy. See blog post 29 December 2014.
76. Marywell, Craig parish (anciently Inchbrayoch), close to the coastal village of Usan.
77. Mary Well, Kirriemuir. Recalled in the local name Marywell Brae.
78. Mary Well, Lintrathen, adjacent to The Mary Well Park, a field name.
79. Mary’s Well, near Meikle Tullc, Edzell.
80. Mary’s Well, St Vigeans.
81. Matty’s Well, Panbride.
82. May’s Well, Dunnichen.
83. Medicine Well, Idvies, also known as Medicie Well.
84. Medicine Well, Montrose. This was, for a short spell in the 18th century, a fashionable spa.
85. Meg Blair’s Well, Lochlee.
86. Minrie Well, Glen Clova. In the Ordnance Survey name book of the mid-19th century the Minrie Burn, north of Cairn of Bairns, is noted and a this well, ‘About mid-way and a little east of this Burn there is a very strong Chalybeate Well, celebrated in the locality...’
87. Monk Mudie’s Well, Carmyllie. See blog post 15 April 2016 (‘Wells Once More’).
88. Monk’s Pool, Kirkton, Lochlee.
89. Monk’s Well, Kelly Den, St Vigeans.
90. Monk’s Well, Glen Isla, Corryvannoch.
91. Mossy Well, Arbroath.
92. Murdiewell, Glamis, place-name.
93. Murleywell, Eassie, farm name.
94. Naughty Well, Kinnell. Is this a delightful colloquial corruption of an older name (Nechtan)? The well was close to the ancient chapel of Bolshan.
95. Neil's Well, near the kirk of Kingoldrum. Note nearby place-name Kennyneil.
96. The Nethergait Well, Dundee.
97. Nettle Well (and Nettlewell Hillock), south of Cornescorn, near Edzell.
98. Newton’s Well, Glen Isla.
99. Nickie’s Well, Witchwood, St Vigeans.
100. Nine Maidens’ Well, Bracken Bruach, Auchterhouse.
101. Ninewells, Dundee. Close to the River Tay, on the west of the city. Now commemorated as the name of the largest hospital in the region.
102. Nine Wells, Finavon. On the hill above the old kirk. A burn trickles down from the spot.
103. Nine Maiden’s Well, Forfar. Located in the vicinity of Craig O’ Loch Road.
104. Nine Maiden’s Well, Kirkton of Strathmartine. Near the kirk, this is importantly in the vicinity of the folk-tale of Martin and the Nine Maidens.
105. Nine Maiden's Well, Cortachy. Near the church.
106. Nine Wells, Glamis. The supposed home of the Nine Maidens, in Glen Ogilvy, was located within Glamis parish.
107. Nine Wells, close to Peallock Quarry, Lunan.
108. Nine Wells, Oathlaw (latterly Finavon parish).
109. Nolt Loan Well, Arbroath.
110. Our Lady’s Well, Edzell.
111. Our Lady’s Well, Glenisla. (The church was dedicated to St Mary.)
112. Our Lady’s Well, Milton of Carmyllie.
113. Our Lady’s Well, Oathlaw (Finavon).
114. The Overgate Well, Dundee. East of the corner of Tally Street; relocated in 1828 to the south-east corner of Mid Street.
115. Pater Well, near Deerpark Cottage, Kinnaird.
116. Paterlochwell, near Cottarward, Dunnichen.
117. Peatmire Well, Black Wood, Arbirlot.
118. Peter’s Cauldron, Guildy Den, Panbride.
119. [Priest’s Stone well], Newbigging, Lethnot and Navar.
120. Purdie’s Well, near Ochterlony, Rescobie.
121. Queen’s Well, Glenmark, Lochlee. Re-named in honour of Queen Victoria, but originally named Tobar na clachan gualaich, the well of the white Stone.
122. Raistane Well, Kingoldrum. This well is also mentioned in a document of Arbroath Abbey, 1458.
123. Reiden's Well, Red Den, Farnell. (Andrew Jervise, Memorials of Angus and the Mearns, i, 85 states that this was the scene of the ballad 'Young Reiden'.)
124. Rosamond’s Pond, near Kinnaird Castle.
125. St Aidan’s Well, Fern.
126. St Aidan’s Well, Kirkton of Menmuir.
127. St Andrew’s Well, East Hillhead, Monikie.
128. St Andrew’s Well, south of Londrum Earn Scar, Lintrathen.
129. St Anthony’s Well, Auchterhouse. On Henderson Hill, marked as ‘disused’ on modern maps. See blog post 29 December 2014.
130. St Bride’s Well, Kettins. (Kettins church also dedicated to St Bride.)
131. St Bride’s Well, Templeton, Newtyle. See blog post 29 December 2014.
132. St Clement’s Well (also called Bischop’s Well or Saint’s Well). See above.
133. St Columba’s Well, Shielhill, Kirriemuir.
134. St Fergus’ Well, Glamis.
135. St Francis’ Well, Dundee. Also known as Gray Friar’s Well. See above and blog post 15 April 2016 (‘Wells Once More’).
136. St German’s Well, Kinblethmont. See blog post 15 April 2016 (‘Wells Once More’).
137. St Innen’s Well, Fern. Located in a place named Wellford.
138. St Iten’s Well, Menmuir. The name is probably a corruption of Aidan, the patron of Memuir parish.
139. St John’s Well, east of the Temple, Roman Camp, Guynd.
140. St Kane’s Well, Ardestie, Monifieth.
141. St Laurence, Edzell. (Edzell church dedicated to this saint.)
142. St Madden’s Well, Airlie. Also called St Medan’s Well.
143. St Martin’s Well, Bridgend, Lethnot.
144. St Martin’s Well, St Martin’s Den, Logie. Famous for curing scurvy.
145. St Mary’s Well, Arbroath.
146. St Mary’s Well, Bridgend, Lethnot. Situated at the foot of the hill near the manse. Silver coins and other unspecified 'votive offerings' were found in this well (in the 18th or 19th century?).
147. St Mary’s Well, Oathlaw. Near the top of the Gallow Path, near Oathlaw.
148. St. Mary’s Well, Gallow Path, near site of chapel, Rescobie.
149. St. Martin’s Well, St. Martin’s Den, Logie.
150. St Mary’s Well, Rescobie.
151. St Medan’s Well, Kingoldrum. (The church was also dedicated to this saint.)
152. St Medan’s Well, Glamis.
153. St Medan’s Well, Oathlaw (latterly Finavon).
154. St Murdoch’s Well, West Drum, Brechin.
155. St Ninian’s Well, site of chapel, Whiting Ness, Arbroath.
156. St Ninian’s, Mains (formerly Strathdichty).
157. St Ouret’s Well, Brechin, on the North Esk near the Stannochy Bridge. This is a name without parallel. Paul T Hornby notes similarites to a similar Basque surname and the Gaelic word ùruisg (https://megalithix.wordpress.com/2016/03/20/st-ourets-well/), but its uniqueness and lack of documentary parallels means this is very much a mystery.
158. St Peter's Well, Tealing.
159. St Ringan’s Well (or St Ninian's Well), Arbirlot, on the south bank of the Rottenraw burn about a third of a mile downstream from the farm of Kellyfield. Later covered by a derelict wind pump.pump.
160. St Sinavy’s Well, or Sunny Vie, near Mains Castle, Dundee. See blog post 29 December 2014.
161. St Trodlin’s Well, Rescobie. Named after Triduana.
162. St Vivian’s Well, near Vane Castle, Fern.
163. Scots Well, near Stripe of Droustie, Lochee.
164. Scotston Well, Little Scotston, Auchterhouse.
165. Seggie Well, west of Guynd, Carmyllie.
166. Silver Hill, St Vigeans. Note place-name Silverwells.
167. Sinruie Well, Kirkden (formerly Idvies). Corrupted from St Maelrubha. The well was also known as St Malrubh.
168. Smellie's Well, Dundee. To the west of the burgh. (Smellie's Lane still exists.)
169. Sod’s Well, east of Grange of Conon, St Vigeans.
170. Springwells, St Vigeans, place-name north of Silverwells.
171. Starney Bucket Well, near Kinnaird. Associated with the satantic earl of Southesk.
172. Tannie's Well, Kinnell. Another well whose name may be a corruption of an older name.
173. The Timber Clach, place-name in Glen Isla. May possibly derive from An Tiobair Chlaich, the well of stones, though there is not currently a well here. (Place-names in Much of North-east Scotland, Adam Watson, London, 2013.)
174. Tobar a Chinn, Glen Isla. Well of the Head.
175. Todcairn Well, Glen Esk.
176. Tothel Well, West Mill, Dunnichen. 58. (Or Lothel Well?)
177. The Tottler, Milton of Conon, Carmyllie.
178. Well of Bowhale, Glen Isla. Gaelic buachaille, herdsman.
179. Whey Wells, north of Leytack, east of Eastside wood, Pinderachy, Fern.
180. Whitewell, Arbroath. Name of a farmhouse in the north of the parish, a short distance south of Tarrybank.
181. Witch’s Pool, Kirriemuir.
182. Wormiehills Well. Well and place-name near Arbroath.