Duthie’s Well set for facelift thanks to Rotary Club

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.

A community project is under way to refurbish the historic “Duthie’s Well” structure at Stonehaven Harbour, thanks to the local Rotary Club.

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 supply before the days of water 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.

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

About a year ago, club member Billy Hunter started in earnest to gather information on what needed to be done and - following the commission of a report - set about raising the funds estimated at £4500.

After looking at a number of possible sources of funding ,he was able to secure a grant from Aberdeenshire Council and another source was the “Be part of the Picture” programme.

The total cost will be met by the two grants and Stonehaven Rotary Club, each donating a third.

A Rotary spokesman said: ‘‘The club is very grateful for these donations, which will allow it to complete this work.

‘‘Having obtained the money, the club is actively pursing the procurement of the items required for the refurbishment and carrying out of the project.

‘‘This phase of the work is being managed by Rotarians Billy Allan and President Peter Newell.’’

The scope includes clearing of debris from inside the well which has accumulated over the years as the access door has been missing for some time; procurement of a new oak door and hinges and fittings, which will be 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.

The work will be carried out as far as possible by local tradesmen and is hoped to be completed by the end of March.

In addition the club is looking to develop an information board telling the story of the well and its refurbishment which they hope to home in the Tollbooth Museum.