Archaeologists have uncovered a well at Levengrove Park which may be part of an early 18th century water system aimed at bringing clean water from the other side of the River Leven to the High Street.

Experts from Rathmell Archaeology were called to the site on Woodyard Road after Storm Ali in September uprooted an old tree and revealed what looked like a well or stone structure in the ground.

Along with contractors in the park, senior archaeologist Liam McKinstry and two colleagues spent two days last week carefully removing the tree to expose the well.

Liam told the Reporter: “It is probably just under two metres [deep] and goes down to a square chamber and flat floor. Water seeps in, which could be a pipe we have just not found yet.

“The theory is it is part of an early 18th century water system and the well pumped clean water under the Leven through lead pipes to the High Street to help the people because they were dying from cholera.

“The water system was constructed in 1714 and we have a few documentary sources about that. Historic mapping evidence and some historical records seem to tie in with this system.”

The route of the lead pipe, which took the water across the riverbed to two wells in the High Street, was shown in John Wood’s “Plan of Dumbarton” from 1818 but the map did not show the water source that fed the pipe to the southern bank of the Leven.

Liam added: “There is a large circular stone in two halves like a cap stone, which could have been a pump with a pipe coming out of it.

“It could just be a well but it lines up with some of the older maps of this old water system.

“The well is in the right place for the map and the construction looks 18th century, so I’m fairly certain that’s what it is. The lead pipe going across the river on the map looks to me like it is coming out right where the tree is, so it would be too much of a coincidence.”

The archaeologists have made technical drawings of the well and have created a 3D model as well as producing a report for the council on their findings.

The 3D model can be viewed here.

No physical evidence indicating a link to the Shiers Well - the restoration of which was on the brink of completion last week - was found, but it is believed they may have shared the same spring.

With the archaeologists now finished with their dig, the newly discovered well has been covered with a board for safety reasons, but Donald Petrie, the council’s Greenspace access officer, who is involved in the Heritage Lottery funded restoration of the park, would like to see it made a public feature.

He said: “I had just driven past and was 200 yards away when the tree came down, which was very substantial and well over 100 years old.

“The old well had been filled over, so it was just a one in million chance that someone had planted over it.

“We are absolutely ecstatic at what has been found. I’d like to make feature of it and put up an interpretation panel for the public to view.”