The area of Calderwood Glen continues to fascinate me. Whilst only half the glen is in Blantyre Parish, there are lots of interesting features and stories to be told for this area as a whole.
On a path on the opposite bank of the River Calder from the Hermitage building was a small natural spring, above which, on a large slab of stone was carved a poem, a sort of warning to ne’er do wells. This was known as “The Fairy Well”. Only those with a clear conscience could drink from this well according to the rhyme, which was as follows:
If thy Spirit is pure as this crystal spring
stranger! Drink its waters fearlessly fling
the tiny cup in the bright fairy well
its magic, for thee has no fatal spell
but, enchantment falls on all around
above — below — ’tis hallowed ground
And truth lies hid in this mystic well
with pow’r each secret thought to tell
then praise! Stranger praise! For if evil dwell
in thy heart — dare not quaft.
The poem was originally carved into flat stones at the Fairy Well, but unfortunately slid into the Calder at an unknown date. There are 2 excellent photos of The Fairy Well. Both perhaps dating to the 1890’s or around 1900. The first showing the vertical rocks where the poem was carved and the second showing a woman “of clear conscience” drinking from the well, using a tin cup that was chained to the well.