Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

Burghead Well

Well (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Burghead Well

Classification Well (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Burghead, Promontory Fort

Canmore ID 16157

Site Number NJ16NW 2

NGR NJ 1102 6915

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2022.

Toggle Aerial | View on large map

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Moray
  • Parish Duffus
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District Moray
  • Former County Morayshire

Archaeology Notes

NJ16NW 2 1102 6915

(NJ 1102 6915) Roman Well (GSC)

A Bell Metal Jug and Sculptured Stone were found in the Roman Well (AD 1809).

OS 25"map, (1870).

See also NJ16NW 1.

'The well comprises a rectangular chamber about 16 feet square and 12 feet high, with rounded angles, cut out of rock at the base of a crag ... some 20 feet below the present ground level above. The floor is bordered by a ledge surrounding a basin 10 feet square and 4 feet deep, again with rounded corners. When found, during the improvements (commenced in 1808,) the chamber roof was broken and the entrance ill-defined; and the archway now forming the latter was then constructed'.

The position of this well, right on the line of the great rampart of the fort (NJ16NW 1) as planned by General W Roy, suggests that it was made at a time when the rampart was out of use, and there may be a likelyhood that it belongs in a later rather than an earlier mediaeval context.

R W Feachem 1963.

Probably an Early Christian baptistry associated with the local cultus of St. Ethan.

V G Childe and W D Simpson 1954.

Miss Grant of Rothiemurcus (Grant 1898) , who visited the well in 1809, noted mosaic paving around the bath and paintings on the walls.

ISSFC 1898; Grant 1898.

When the well was cleared out a number of finds were made. A stone slab with a bull carved on it (NJ16NW 5), a number of Spanish coins (W Rhind 1839), a bell metal jug, in 1870 in the possession of Mr Macleod, Dalvey, Forres, and 'a square stone having a cross upon the centre the margin of which was covered with ... knotwork cut in bold relief'. (Name Book 1870).

W Rhind 1839; Name Book 1870.

This well is as described by Feachem (R W Feachem 1963). The stone described by Name Book (1870) is in the west gable of the house at NJ 1104 6916. The words "Remains of Roman Antiquity" have been cut into the face of this stone. The where-abouts of the bell metal jub (Name Book 1870) is not known nor of the Spanish coins (W Rhind 1839).

Visited by OS (W D J) 16 September 1963.

W Rhind 1839; Name Book 1870; R W Feachem 1963.


Watching Brief (15 January 2007)

NJ 1103 6916 A watching brief was maintained on 15 January 2007 during the excavation of a small trench near Burghead Well. The trench was needed to allow access to the S external wall of a nearby 19th-century building for repointing work. There were no finds or features of archaeological significance.

S Hogg 2007

Sponsor: Historic Scotland

Kirkdale Archaeology

Information from OASIS ID: kirkdale1-249645 (S Hogg) 2007


MyCanmore Image Contributions

Contribute an Image

MyCanmore Text Contributions