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St. Fittick's Well
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St. Fittick's Well

Historic Photographs
David Oswald
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St. Fittick's Well
Historic Photographs
St. Fittick's Well
A photograph from 1906 of St. Fittick's Well, located in the Bay of Nigg.

An account of the well is given by Thomas W. Ogilvie (1861-1908) in The Book of Saint Fittick, a history of Torry, written and presented as a Bazaar Book to Saint Fittick's Church, Torry, in December 1901.

Ogilvie worked as a doctor in Torry for seven years and was prominent in the public life of the district. An account of his life is given in the introduction to a posthumously published collection of his verse, Poems (1911).

Ogilvie suggests use the well dates to pagan times and gives an account of its storied healing powers and the tradition of offering gifts in the hope of good health and fortune. He suggests St Fittick, the patron saint of Torry, became the object of these benefactions after the arrival of Christianity.

He details the tradition of visiting the area and leaving gifts on the first Sunday of May. Ogilvie writes:

"Town Council and Kirk Session struggled by laws and punishments to stop those Sunday wanderings and to efface those vestiges of old superstitions, but the customs of centuries die hard, and to-day young and old, to whom the name St. Fittick is a meaningless term and the repute of his well quite unknown, ramble on Sundays and week-days to the bay once called by his name, and they find the old power still lingers, for the beauty of the Bay, the fresh sea-breeze, and the pure draught from the old spring still bless and heal."

The well is understood to have been washed away by coastal erosion in the early 20th century. Its location, latterly its site, is recorded in old large scale Ordnance Survey maps.
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