Dunfermline's Wallace Well – Dunfermline, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

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Dunfermline's Wallace Well

Pittencrieff Park

Did the legendary Scottish knight William Wallace actually take refuge here after a major battle? 

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Being a reigning monarch in the 13th century must have been thirsty work, for there are four watering holes dedicated to Sir William Wallace, or “Braveheart,” as he is more commonly known. This particular well is located in Dunfermline, a city in the district of Fife, and once the seat of royal power in Scotland.

Located not far from the Dunfermline Abbey, and nestled along the banks of the Tower Burn in Pittencrieff Park, one will locate what looks to be a small stone shed. In 1303, the legendary king is purported to have taken refuge here from the British after the Battle of Falkirk. This seems highly unlikely, as Falkirk is situated some 30 miles away and the Firth of Forth estuary separates them. 

What is more plausible is a trick of pronunciation. There had been a spring in the vicinity, which was given the name “Well O Spa.” It is more likely that folks were eager to cash in on the celebrity of a local hero, and had the name changed to “Wallace Spa.” This would eventually become “Wallace Well,” and a story was fabricated around it to give it more validity. Either way, it makes for a great anecdote and doesn’t distract from the serene surroundings.

It’s not the only well in Scotland associated with the legendary Scotsman: Wallace’s Well in Glasgow is said to be where he quenched his thirst shortly before being captured by English troops.

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February 8, 2022

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