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St. Matthew's Well

Sacred Well


St. Matthew’s Well, Roslin
According to a description I had of this well, it’s just over the west wall of a graveyard just down from Rosslyn Chapel. Checking the map and using the GPS, I head into the cemetery and down to the ruins of St. Matthew’s Chapel- not a lot survives- only two separate sections of wall standing about 2.5 metres high. To the left of these walls stands the gravestone of John Howie and just behind hi final resting place is a small step built into the cemetery wall taking you into the thick undergrowth on the other side as well as piles of rotting flowers etc. from recent burials and memorials- not a pleasant place. The terrain gets worse- rotting trees covered in every slimy insect you can think of and dense stinging nettles growing to over 2 metres high. It also doesn’t help that this is all on a slope of mud. Checking the map and GPS again I become aware of the fact that I am moving- both sinking into the mud and sliding down the hill. Grabbing some of the trees I manage to pull myself back up onto firmer ground. I stop and listen- I can hear running water through the dense vegetation. I manage to hack my way through the nettles and come across a small opening in the mud from which vigorously issues clear and cold water- is this all that remains of this once Holy Well? I head further into the nettles and come across two concrete half-cylindrical dome structures (each 1 m high by 1.49 m wide by 1.38m long and 1.1 m apart). Both of these have had iron doors at some point on their southern sides, but have been bricked in. However, the north dome has had the bricks smashed in- I stick my head in- cool, clear sacred water flowing down.
Posted by Martin
9th August 2002ce

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