A stream which came from the overflow of Bower’s Well in Gartcows Road, opposite the old Falkirk Laundry, wound its course through the lands of Woodlands to join the Gote Burn near its junction with the West Burn (ie at the old Erskine Church). The stream is now covered in and forms the boundary between the back gardens of the villas in Neilson Street and Woodlands Crescent. The well was closed by 1920 (Love 1928b).
Reid (2009, 190) thought that the name might be a personal name but the occurrence of Bower’s Wells elsewhere in Scotland suggests that it may refer to a shady leafy shelter or recess, as in a wood or garden.
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The Barony Court book has the following entry for 2 July 1641
“And also for cutting ane water passage quhilk past from the well callit the cheppellwell thrughe hir zairde quhair scho useit to water hir guids and for causeing the wattir to rine the contrair way to hir great hurt and prejudice”(Hunter 1991, 37, 31.2).
It is not known how the well got its name but it was clearly of some antiquity.
Johnston of Kirkland wrote in 1723 that “In the meadows east from Falkirk is a spaw well called Pilliwanton well, its water is very diuretick.” Reid suggests that the name means a pit from which issued a plentiful supply of water (Reid 2009, 191). An earlier writer had ingeniously, but erroneously, come up with his own derivation – from the fact that people who were not strong used to be said to be “Pillie-wally” and the water from the spaw well might be helpful to them.
The well at the north side of the Meadows was known as “Dockindyken” Well in the 1840s. Its water was famed and used by folks in the Randygate (a1.129).
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