In December 2016, Mrs Janet Cochrane handed in a copy of something quite special. It was a copy of several written pages about Auchentibber, kept by a former elderly resident, Mrs Flora Dickson (Potter). Sadly Flora has now passed away, but through these notes, some of her memories and research is passed on and retold here with permissions.
“The Place – Evidence that Gaelic was once spoken in our area is contained in the place name ‘Auchentibber’, sometimes spelled Auchintibber, which when translated means “the field of the well”. There are several wells in its vicinity but the one between Auchentibber and Blantyre Park was a really famous one and in the eighteenth Century many of the citizens of Glasgow travelled out to avail themselves of its curative waters. These were considered helpful for skin diseases, eye ailments and generally acted as a tonic. When analysed the waters were found to contain:
Carbonate of lime 23.20g per Gallon
Sulphate of Lime 2.42g per Gallon
Carbonate of Magnesium 16g per Gallon
Sulphate of Magnesium 12.82g per Gallon and
Carbonate of Soda 1.72g per Gallon.
The composition was identical with that of the writers in St Bernard’s local in Edinburgh and the sulpherated hydrogen gas dissolved in it gave it a very distinctive flavour!
These pilgrimages to the well not only helped the recipient, but also the Blantyre Church for at one time a sum of £213, derived from donation was in the hands of the Kirk Session. About 1830, the well appears to have dried up, but around 1885, its gaseous waters were flowing freely again and perhaps they still are! The large scale ordinance map of 1912 shows Blantyre Park House having a well in its grounds at the time but there were also four wells shown within the area of Auchentibber itself one was situated at “Springfield” next to the Auchentibber Inn.”
More from Flora Dickson Potter, coming soon.
On social media:
Thank you so much, Janet Cochrane for you sharing this with The Blantyre Project so us many relatives here in Australia can see words from a relative lost. This enables our connection to our grandfather, great Aunts, and Uncles (including Flora’s Husband, Robert Potter) to come to life of the place we hold so dear to our heart, a wee place named Auchentibber.
I look forward to more!