Duthie’s Well back to its former glory

A community project has led to the historic “Duthie’s Well” at Stonehaven Harbour being refurbished, thanks to the local Rotary Club.

Duthie’s Well had its official grand opening last Wednesday when locals, councillors and the Deputy Provost Norman Smith watched as resident Ray Milne did the honours.

Members of the Rotary with councillors, locals and the deputy Provost at the official opening of Duthies Well

Members of the Rotary with councillors, locals and the deputy Provost at the official opening of Duthies Well

Ms Milne, who has lived beside the well her entire life, composed a poem for the event which she read out and is available on our website.

The well, which was built in the early 19th century, is the only survivor of five down in the “Old Town” and was a public water outlet before the days of a supply being piped into people’s homes.

It was named after Alex Duthie, a shipbuilder in Aberdeen, who visited Stonehaven regularly for his summer holidays, and is similar to the street wells in Edinburgh.

The Duthie family, who made their money from ship building and the manufacture of rope, helped fund the building of the well.

This grainy picture of the well, which is the only one that survives of five in the Old Town.

This grainy picture of the well, which is the only one that survives of five in the Old Town.

Captain William Duthie, a Stonehaven merchant and ship-owner, was one of the three first commissioners (appointed in 1825) of Stonehaven Harbour.

Total cost of refurbishment was met by two grants from Aberdeenshire Council and Stonehaven Rotary Club providing a third.

Mr Smith said at the opening: “It’s a pleasure for me to be here at the new well, something that Aberdeenshire Council has given some money towards and I must congratulate the Rotary and the volunteers.”

Work done included clearing of debris from inside the well which had accumulated over the years, a new oak door and hinges and fittings, which are hung on the original hinge posts; replacement of the old water spout and handle of the original well; repointing of stonework and replacement of a number of damaged stones; repainting of the name incised in the stonework above the water spout and provision of a plaque fixed to the new door describing how the work was carried out.

Local woman Ray Milne dressed in clothes from the period officially opens Duthies Well

Local woman Ray Milne dressed in clothes from the period officially opens Duthies Well