The Red Well by Whitehills in Aberdeenshire

the red well near Whitehills in Aberdeenshire, Scotland

The Red Well

The Red Well by Whitehills is protected by an unusual building. On the autumn equinox, at sunrise, a beam of light shines through the doorway of this beehive-shaped shelter and illuminates the well within. This happens on the spring equinox too. The well, and the building, are said to date from Roman times.

the red well by whitehills

A Witch’s Hoosie

the red well by Whitehills

When I was a small child, I lived with my grandparents in Whitehills for a while. One day, playing with my cousins, I was locked in that building to see if the witch would get me. The place was referred to as the ‘witch’s hoosie’ back then, by children at least. There were scary stories of an old lady witch ghost. I was quite interested to see if she would show up. She didn’t, and I was eventually freed, my lack of fear having disappointed my companions somewhat.

The door is kept locked now.

Since then, I’ve always viewed the well as rather a magical place, and keenly look out for the quick glimpse of it in the landscape that you get when driving along the main Banff to Portsoy road.

thistles by the well
Thistles by the well

It’s in a particularly beautiful spot, the Red Well. The town of Banff can just be seen in the distance below.

the red well by the sea

A Book Set in Roman Times

I included the Red Well in SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD.

Sisters at the Edge of the World by Ailish Sinclair

It was seven years in the making, this book. Both the novel and I went through a lot as the story developed: severe editing, hospitalisations, deleting, pain, rewriting, crying and being monstrous.

See the article Roman Aberdeenshire features in author’s new book from Grampian Online.

Paperback and Kindle:

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

It’s on Kindle Unlimited too so can be read for free (there’s a 30 day free trial).

sisters at the edge of the world


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44 Replies to “The Red Well by Whitehills in Aberdeenshire”

  1. Congratulations on your new book! I have it now, I ordered it from Amazon in the US a few days ago, and it arrived immediately. The first pages, that I have already read are so beautifully written, I savor them. I think I will be done reading it in far less than seven years. Then I will have to wait for the next. Please stay strong, stay well. Thank you for sharing your artist’s eye on the deep beauty of all these ancient places.

  2. Witching you (sorry, I mean ‘wishing’ you) the best of luck with this new book. Funnily enough I finished the second and, I hope, last, draft of my fourth title in the ‘Omens & Havens’ series today! It’s a sequel to the trilogy which I might have mentioned before. This story, set up here in the Highlands, is called ‘Picts and Wildcats’.

  3. Congrats on your new release day! I wish you every success!
    I already got the Kindle and will put in a review after reading. I’m looking forward to it. Happy Autumn Equinox! I hope the new season is a better one for you, too.

  4. What an interesting landmark and so cool you wrote it into your story. Congrats on getting it done and published despite the hurdles and obstacles. Well done. Bernie

  5. Congratulations! What a suitable date to publish a new book, especially this one.
    Seven years seem like a long time, but, as we say in German “gut Ding braucht Weile”, which means that really good things take a long time to mature.
    I wish you success with this book and still improving health for you. (I have to get hold of a kindle version.)

  6. That book of yours sounds interesting! And the landscape is just gorgeous! One day I will make it to Scotland — it has been a plan of my sister and me for years now. 🙂

  7. Played round the reed wall as a kid.
    There used to be a ww2 lookout tower directly behind it. Happy days

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