Sacred Wells Event Kicks off Galloway Glens ‘Hidden Culture’ Programme

The Galloway Glens ‘Hidden Culture’ programme kicks off next Wednesday night with an event looking at what we have learned about sacred wells across Galloway… and what we still don’t know…

It is hard to think of a landscape feature that has changed more in terms of how we view them. Historically, our wells had a whole range of uses – not least providing water to sustain life. In these modern times, our historic wells can provide us with a vital link to our past and let us see the landscape from a new angle.

Over the last 12 months, the ‘Can You Dig It’ community archaeology project has been trying to better identify and document our wells. This event will start to consider what we have found, what we known, and what we don’t. Event speakers include Professor David Munro, Geographer in Residence for the Duke of Buccleuch, Dr Peter Hewitt, the Council’s Museums Officer and Claire Williamson, from the ‘Can You Dig It’ project.

To book your free ticket, click here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sacred-wells-in-our-landscape-what-have-we-learned-tickets-254653674997

Looking ahead to the event, Professor David Munro said:

“While we now mostly obtain water piped to our homes from reservoirs, the water drawn from wells in the past was treated with great reverence as an essential element of life believed to be protected by guardian spirits.  My search in 2011 for significant ‘lost’ wells in the landscape of Nithsdale yielded nearly 50 named wells which were once recognised as having therapeutic properties thought to be of value to the community.”

Also speaking at the event, Dr Peter Hewitt added:

“Just about every aspect of human life and lore can be found near a holy well. Murder, skulduggery, devilry and hauntings sit side by side with pilgrimage, devotion and healing. Galloway communities in the past saw these wells and springs as the beating heart of their spiritual and earthly landscapes, and it is these traces of culture which I am really interested in exploring in ‘Sacred Wells in our Landscape’.”


This event forms part of the Galloway Glens ‘Hidden Culture’ Programme. Jan Hogarth, the Galloway Glens Education & Community Engagement officer, said:

“Rediscovering lost Wells is an important way of re connecting us with nature and our surrounding landscape. They were used for healing in the past and rituals around wells fostered a gratefulness to nature for all it provides for us. I wonder have we lost that gratefulness?
I am curious to hear from geographer and explorer, Professor David Munro, Archivist and well investigator, Peter Hewitt, and the CYDI team, who have been mapping lost wells across the Galloway Glens area, to discover more about our past, present and future relationship with these Wells.”

Galloway Glens will be releasing a series of 4 intriguing new Podcasts created by artist/anthropologist, Katch Holmes about our Galloway Lost Wells. The first podcast will be released this Friday 4th February through the Galloway Glens Social Media Channels.


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