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Dumfries House, Lady's Well

Garden Temple (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Dumfries House, Lady's Well

Classification Garden Temple (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 43611

Site Number NS52SW 12.04

NGR NS 53864 20662

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/43611

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2018.

Administrative Areas

  • Council East Ayrshire
  • Parish Old Cumnock
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Cumnock And Doon Valley
  • Former County Ayrshire

Summary Record

The Lady's Well lay to the east of the Adam Bridge on the south bank of the Lugar Water close to the walled garden of Leifnorris. It is first recorded on an estate map of 1756. A small square structure with four arched openings and a pyramidal roof. It was partially destroyed in 1944 during the period when the estate was requisitioned by the army. The remaining structure was dismantled in 1963.

For more in formation see RCAHMS publicartion Dumfries House , an Architectural Story.

STG 2014

Archaeology Notes

NS52SW 12.04 53864 20662

(NS 5386 2066) Lady's Well: Small classical stone temple close to bridge.

SDD List 1963

Scattered heaps of dressed stone are all that survive of this structure which must have been demolished many years ago (pre- OS 25" 1959). No information was available at Dumfries House Estate Office (Dumfries House Mains).

Visited by OS (JRL) 18 October 1981

Activities

Archaeological Evaluation (1 December 2015 - 3 December 2015)

An assessment was made of the site of the Lady Well, a classical garden building of the mid-18th century lying within the policies of Dumfries House, mostly destroyed in the 1940s. An evaluation trench confirmed the site of the well base, revealing its east and south sides, three angles, the bases of three corner piers and flagstone paving within. Details of the associated historic ground surface and the depth and construction of the foundations was also established. A large number of ex situ carved stones lying part-buried in the immediate vicinity were cleaned, recorded and catalogued. The majority of these were identifiable architectural elements that could be related to a reconstruction drawing of the structure. An overlying tree will need to be removed in order to reveal the remainder of the structure and to determine whether a shaft exists within. It is anticipated that following the felling of the trees and clearance of vegetation, a second phase of work will reveal the remainder of the foundations, the wellhead and other remaining ex situ masonry.

Information from Jenni Morrison and Kenny MacFaydean (Addyman Archaeology) December 2015. OASIS ID: addymana1-289451

Excavation (19 June 2017 - 26 June 2017)

Addyman Archaeology was contracted by The Great Steward of Scotland’s Dumfries House Trust to assist in the assessment and reconstruction of the remains of Lady’s Well, a collapsed garden structure of 18th century date lying within the Dumfries House policies. The approximate location of the feature was known from historic maps and early photographic sources taken prior to its destruction in the 1940s.

The Lady's Well was a classical garden building of the mid-18th century lying within the policies of Dumfries House. This building was blown up and mostly destroyed in the 1940s by soldiers stationed at the military camp located on the northern part of the estate. A series of phases of excavation of the surviving remnants was made to locate and assess how much survived of the Lady's Well and any detail of its construction to inform reconstruction of the structure. An initial evaluation trench confirmed the site of the well base, revealing its east and south sides, three corners, the bases of three corner piers and flagstone paving within. Later phases of excavation uncovered the structure in its entirety and established much of the workings as well as the associated historic ground surface. The depth, construction and surviving extent of the foundations was also established. A large tree growing on the western corner of the structure was removed in order to reveal the remainder of the structure, which occasioned some disturbance to the western part. An original overflow system was also exposed utilising horseshoe field drainage. However, the use of the structure as a well for drawing water appeared unlikely and an alternative suggestion of a garden feature . A large number of ex situ carved stones lying partly buried in the immediate vicinity have previously been cleaned, recorded, catalogued and reported on in December 2016 (Morrison and Macfadyen 2015). The majority of these were identifiable architectural elements that corresponded to stones on a reconstruction drawing of the structure.

Information from Oasis (addymana1-289444) 22 December 2017

References

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