Public Wells & Fountains (3) Blackness

Cross Well & Blackness Square Pumps

(SMR 1431) – NT 0514 8002

Two cast iron water pumps stand at the north-west end of Blackness Square with their backs to a high stone wall.  That on the east is a conventional short stand with a fluted body and a lion’s head just below the cap.  The cap is domed and fluted, finishing in a leaf terminal.  The western pump is taller and set on a square panelled plinth bearing oval leaf designs.  Above a waist are acanthus leaves with a spout protruding from them. Above this again is a plaque with the donor’s name. “THE GIFT OF ALEXANDER McLEOD ESQ,/ —— LL/ TO THE INHABITANTS OF BLACKNESS/ HIS NATIVE VILLAGE/ 1875.”  There then follows a band of elongated ovola.   It too is topped by a domed cap and terminal.  The pumping handle is attached to the right side of the stem.

Illus: The two Pumps in Blackness Square.

A pump is shown in the centre of the square on the 2nd edition Ordnance Survey map of 1897. It was still there on the 3rd edition, along with two on the site of the present ones.

East Well

Illus: The Alcove for the East Well looking south-east in 2001.

(NT 0528 8004)

 “A small well at the east end of the village [of Blackness] from which the inhabitants of that part of the village get water


It remains as an alcove set into the drystone stone dyke on the south side of the road to Blackness Castle.  It is capped by a lintel and lies partly under the grass verge.

Dovecot Well

(NT 053 806)

This well is shown on the 1856 Ordnance Survey map at the foot of the low escarpment to the north-east of the doocot at Blackness.  Here is would have served the harbour in the bay which formed the early anchorage under the jurisdiction of the Royal burgh of Linlithgow.

Illus: 1856 Ordnance Survey Map (National Library of Scotland)

G.B. Bailey, 2021