Scandler’s Well

Three public wells served Broad Street – to the west was Sclanders Well and to the east lay Boghead Well, whilst in the middle of the road was the Cross Well.  The Cross Well was temporarily closed in the 1860s leaving just the two.  At the hearing of 1879 one of the witnesses stated that

The Committee of Police put a new well at Sclanders Well about two years ago.  It is a public well and it supplies the whole of our end of the town, and down the street for a long way.

Sclanders Well was located immediately to the north of Sclanders Burn on the west side of the main road into Denny from the south.  This was part of the glebe to the south of the church and it is significant that the name seems to be an elided form of St Alexander (Reid 2009).  St Alexander has an ancient connection with the parish and another well of this name occurs near Kirkland.  Its location would indicate an early date for the well and when the Glasgow Road was embanked to carry it over the stream in the late 18th century the Road Trustees had to pay to have steps put down to it.

In September 1874 the Sanitary Committee reported that Sclanders Well and the burn flowing therefrom had been partly filled up with stones, and that the stair and railing leading to the well was very much out of repair.  It does not indicate how the stones got there but it recommended they be removed.  Just two years later Dr James Cuthill was advocating abandoning the wells and obtaining water from further afield.  He wrote

Sclander’s Burn has long since ceased to fulfil any other purpose in the community of the locality than that of a common sewer, so that any party who would barricade the stair leading to this time-honoured resort of the domestic servants of Denny would most certainly deserve a vote of thanks at the hands of the community

(Falkirk Herald 17 August 1876, 2).

Water samples taken from Sclanders Well in 1890 indicated its unsuitability for human consumption but it was several years before it was closed.  The stream too was culverted and the field to the south of the church eventually became Glebe Park.

(NS 8118 8266)

G.B. Bailey, 2022