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Burghead Well

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The small town of Burghead was built between 1805 and 1809 on the site of a Pictish fort which had occupied the headland in ancient times. The town planners needed to find a source of drinking water for the future residents and were told, some say by a local fisherman, of an old tale of a forgotten well near the tip of the small peninsular. A search was conducted which revealed traces of stone cut steps leading down into a mound. The workers excavated the passage and discovered one of the strangest places in Scotland. The underground chamber had been hand cut from solid rock and was roughly five metres in length by five metres wide. In the centre was a square shaped pool almost as large as the chamber and 1.3 metres deep. Water from an underground spring supplied the pool with water and was found to be drinkable. There are steps leading down into the pool although these may have been cut shortly after the well was discovered. Artefacts found included a Celtic / Pictish stone cross, a stone slab engraved with a picture of a bull, a bell metal jug and, oddly enough, a number of Spanish coins. (Date minted is unrecorded) It may once have had mosaics on the floor and frescoes on the walls. These were noted by Miss Grant (of Rothiemurcus) in 1809. If this was the case there is no evidence of them today. Archaeologists have failed to agree on the purpose of the well and the chamber. Some believe it was a roman bath while others suggest it was the water supply for the fort. The generally proposed theory is that it was a an early Christian baptistery linked to the local cult of St Ethan. The true purpose of the Burghead Well remains a mystery yet to be solved.

NEAREST CAMPING AND CARAVANNING CLUB SITE

speyside-campsiteSpeyside

Camping and Caravanning Club Site
B9102 (Rd), Archiestown, Aberlour
Moray, Scotland, AB38 9SL
+44 (0)01340 810 414
www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk

Contact Details

  • Address: King Street, Burghead, Morray, Scotland, United Kingdom, IV30 5XG
  • GPS: 57.70334444,-3.494516667
  • Part of UK: Scotland
  • Sat Nav Postcode: IV30 5XG
  • Entrance Fees: Free Entry
  • Disabled Access: Poor
  • Visibility from Road: None

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