Public Wells & Fountains (6) Camelon

Camelon Village Well

In the 18th century Camelon was a new village, created by the selling of feus in the 1750s.  Around 1760 a public well was built by public subscription and a Well Committee made up of the feuars was established to maintain it.  The well was centrally located on the north side of the Main Street opposite to Union Road.

The minutes of the School and Well Committee of Camelon record that in 1821 it was resolved

“to build a substantial stone well-house, and to have the water-drawing on a new plan, provided money can be raised for that purpose by subscription.” 

Four collectors were appointed to go through the village to solicit the funds.  The indifferent response to this call and the tardy payment of those who had promised subscriptions led to a resolution that all those who had not agreed to subscribe, or had not paid promised subscriptions,

were to be cut off from having any privilege of the well, and prosecuted if seen using it.” 

Five inhabitants who then used the water but had not paid the stent were minuted for citation before the Sheriff.  It is not known if they were actually prosecuted (Lumsden 1901, 30-31). The well in Camelon village was closed by the sanitary inspector at the end of October 1896 with the result that the inhabitants living near the well who did not have water in their houses had to go to the east or the west well, both a considerable distance.  There was much ill-feeling about the Central Well having been closed without due warning though the inspector pointed out that a year before the analysis of the water had shown it unfit for domestic use.  He had therefore, on that occasion, removed the handle.  However, it was surreptitiously replaced.  Since then the water developed a bad smell and taste.  £10 was spent on improvements but to no good effect as the source of the pollution was some distance away at Greenbank.  He therefore closed it permanently.  According to the Act bringing gravitational water to the village any houses more than 170yds from a public well should have the piped water supply at their own cost.  It was suggested that the County Council take over the two remaining wells and compel owners to introduce water (Falkirk Herald 14 November 1896, 6)

 (NS 8702 8042)

G.B.Bailey, 2022