Shear's Well, Levengrove Park :: Shared Description

Shear's Well, marked as a water pump on OS maps from 1914 onwards, is located near the eastern edge of Levengrove Park. The small structure built over that well was replaced in 2018 during a programme of improvements to the park. According to an information panel installed beside the well in June 2019, the original water pump was manufactured by George Smith & Sons, of the Sun Foundry, Glasgow.

See LinkExternal link (at SketchFab) for a manipulable online 3D model, by Rathmell Archaeology, of the water pump and of the small adjacent structure (that is, the one built in 2018).

Shear's Well is not far from the ruins Link of St Serf's Church, and the name "Shear's" is possibly related to "Serf's". David Murray, author of "Old Cardross" (1880), records that the saint's name itself is encountered in various forms: Servanus, Serf, Serran, Sair, Seres. He was of the opinion that "Shear's" is derived from the last of those forms. Donald MacLeod states, in his "Historic Families, Notable People, and Memorabilia of the Lennox" (1891), that "St Shear's or St Serf's well, the holy well, supplied Under Kirkton village with water", and that "it is now a drinking fountain in the Park" (Under Kirkton was the name of a little settlement or clachan, now long gone, that grew up beside St Serf's church).

The water pump and the small adjacent structure are not shown on the first-edition OS map (surveyed in c.1860). That map does show a well, though; it was not at the same location as Shear's Well, but was about 50 metres to the northwest. In 2018, an old well was uncovered near that spot: see LinkExternal link for pictures of it, and for more information.

In view of their nearness to each other, it is likely that both wells are supplied by the same source. The practical importance of this water source lay in the fact that, for a long time, it fed Dumbarton's Town Well. The latter was located on the High Street of the medieval burgh, that is, on the other side of the River Leven. A pipe was therefore laid on the bed of the Leven to direct the water to the town well. See LinkExternal link for more on that topic, and for the relevant entries from the Burgh records.
by Lairich Rig
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7 images use this description:

NS3975 : Shear's Well, Levengrove Park by Lairich Rig
NS3975 : Shear's Well, Levengrove Park by Lairich Rig
NS3975 : Shear's Well, Levengrove Park by Lairich Rig
NS3975 : Shear's well: interior detail by Lairich Rig
NS3975 : Shear's Well, Levengrove Park by Lairich Rig
NS3975 : Shear's Well, Levengrove Park by Lairich Rig
NS3975 : Shear's Well: water pump's handle restored by Lairich Rig

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Created: Thu, 6 Dec 2018, Updated: Thu, 4 Jul 2019

The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2018 Lairich Rig, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.