Water Supply



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bulletVillage Well Discovered
bulletSt. Machan's Well
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Water Supply (1884)

Until 1884 the water supply for Lennoxtown came from different sources. The supply for the Crosshill area came from Craig's Burn. Main Street and the streets adjoining it had 'The Spout.'  Further east at Birbiston, there was the 'Clash' well, and of course, there was the famous 'Baker Broon's Well', which served the east end of the village. There were also private and less well known sources. Water for domestic purposes was carried from the wells in wooden stoups.

Over time it was proposed to have a water supply by gravitation. Once the Local Authority was convinced of the need for such a system, water districts were defined. The most likely supply source was considered to be the Glorat Estate, but there were many obstacles in the way of the scheme, and, after discussion, it was finally abandoned, since others had prior claim to the water.

However, after a lull, the question was again raised. Sources such as the Shields burn, the Cress well on the North hill, and the Katie Crystal spring on the South Brae were considered, but were set aside in favour of a supply from the Glen and Clachan burn up near Auldwick Bridge.

The supply was abundant, and at a high level which permitted the formation of a storage reservoir at the lower level, yet sufficiently high enough to ensure pressure over the whole of the water district. The land for the reservoir was acquired from Mrs. Hanbury Lennox at a cost of 110. No charge was made for the water. (Authors note: The right to extract water is a "use of the plot". The water itself is not part of the land or heritages. Running water such as spring water, does not belong to anyone. It is moveable property and is res nullius: Stair Memorial Encyclopaedia, Volume 18 273-274; 301. The Lennox Family, may have owned the land, but could not own the water). 

The Water Works were duly established  at a total cost of 2,900. 

Villagers assembled in the Field Park, then marched up to the works on the lower slopes of the Campsies  (near Golf Course), where the engineer presented Mrs. Hanbury Lennox with a silver key, which she used to turn on the water, officially opening the works on October 4th 1884. The marchers then returned to a platformed area in front of the Town Hall where presentations of flowers and a silver cup were made to the Hon Mrs. Hanbury Lennox. The supply was a great success. Before it was taken over by the County Council, the rate of assessment by the Local Authority was only 2d (twopence) per pound, making it one of the cheapest and best supplies in Scotland.

By 1921 however, the Standing Joint Committee had before them at their meeting in Stirling last week, an application from the Western District Committee for consent to a scheme for improving the water supply to the district. The estimated cost of the scheme amounted to 800, which it was proposed should be spread over six years and charged on revenue. The committee approved the scheme, and granted their consent.

Lennoxtown is currently supplied by Loch Lomond Water, which is treated at the Balmore Purification Treatment Works.

Village Well Discovered

In September 1926, workmen, engaged in digging a trench for sewer pipes in the Main Street in Lennoxtown, uncovered a Well located 5 feet below the surface of the road. It was expertly built, and was 13 feet deep and 4!/2 feet in circumference. The pipe leading to a plunger at the bottom was still intact, and there was about 6 feet of water in the Well, which had a thick metal plate covering. Once it had been properly inspected, it was filled in.

It was situated on what was known as the Public Green, a stretch of land allocated to every parish, where fairs, markets, sales and all public affairs were conducted..

It was thought (in 1929) that the Campsie Public green extended from a Ford at Grey Stane, by Whitefield Cottage, to the old Station Road, and from there to the old quarry at the head of Quarry Lane.

The individual reporting the discovery of the Well felt strongly that the events should be commemorated, by being chronicled, or by placing a plaque near the spot. 

Is it possible that this was the old 'Spout' which was the water supply for the Main Street and adjoining streets? (see above). It appears to be the case that fairs were held in and around Station Road which was previously Field Road    (see: Fairs in Campsie)

St. Machan's Well

Very little is documented regarding St. Machan's Well, but this brief article is proof of its existence, should we need any.

"No structural remains survive at the site marked on the Ordnance Survey map, just West of the lane leading up to the Campsie Glen and 140 yards North of the Clachan of Campsie; but there is still a spring at the point, reinforced by surface drainage from across the lane. A runnel of water leads from it through the wood North of the old church, and this seems once to have been covered over, in parts at least, as stone slabs can be seen lying beside it from place to place."

It is possible that the association of Celtic Saints with some wells  may represent a survival of  ancient beliefs, to be compared with the legendary connection of St. Machan of Campsie and others, for example, St. Kentigern of Stirling. 

Machan reputedly erected his small chapel at the foot of the glen, close to this well, which he used for baptisms.

Trinity Church

In 1983 a survey was conducted on the church and confirmed that the foundations , inadequately prepared when the church was built in the 19th century, were giving way as a result of regular underground flooding from the nearby river Glazert. Subsequently, a spring was also found.


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