STROWAN'S WELL / ST ROWAN'S WELL
ACCESS : Easy to access, but nothing to actually see. The area is very disturbed, but roughly discerned as being beyond the end of Strowan's Well Road.
Road names such as Strowan's Well Road and Strowan's Road tantalisingly refer to this feature. But the area has been disturbed by housing, the roads themselves and other works. Pastmap is fairly clear on its map and, although that offers no further information, does have a point identified on its map. We have used that for or ///what3words reference.
The WDC "Place Name of West Dunbartonshire" pages note the following : "It was common in medieval times to name a well after a saint who, in some way, was considered to have conferred a blessing on the site and on those who made use of the supply of water as a life-sustaining benefit. Such a working well existed in the Crosslet area of Dumbarton north of the line of the present-day A82, and was named after St. Ronan. Run together this became "Stronan" which, in turn was corrupted to "Strowan". The "ow" should, therefore, be pronounced "oa" as in the word "roe", and not "ow" as in "ouch".
We note that Gruggies Burn flows close by. Perhaps there is or was some geographical connection between the two sources. Anyway, a well is generally easier to keep clean, compared to a river, such as from livestock, and this certainly sounds healthier for human consumption.
Natural wells such as this were fairly common around this area and would have been identified and protected for use by locals and pilgrims alike. There are no records of a church or monk's cell in the area. It is more likely that the local community named this well after their favourite saint just as we still do todaywith churches.
It appears to have still been a popular source of drinking water in the 19th century. Captain John Edward Geils, the son of Andrew Geils, owned much of the land around here and became very unpopular when he tried to close it. (See Dumbuck House index.asp?pageid=730721).
There were several saints of this name in the past. Have a look at the website in the link below to judge which one it most probably was. (Remember that there are variations on the spelling).
CATHOLIC ANSWERS - ST RONAN : https://www.catholic.com/encyclopedia/ronan-saint