DURING the Victorian era, many remote houses did not have running water installed, so it was up to members of the household to fetch water daily from a local well.

These wells were a lifeline for local communities, and connected with healing qualities, as it was known to be clean and crystal clear.

At the Gartlet near Clackmannan, a row of cottages had been built that lined the driveway to the main house, with one cottage built behind.

In one of these cottages lived the Adamson family. On Sunday, August 22, 1858, George Adamson sent his son to fetch water from a well.

It would be the last time he would see the boy alive.

Adamson was a miner and, on that day, he sent his seven year old son David to go to the well, which was situated close to the family home, to fetch two pitchers of water.

This was one of the young boy’s chores which he did on a regular basis.

The well, which was five-feet deep, had been sunk into a rock and was accessed by six or seven steps.

There was a sparred door at the foot of the steps, measuring around four feet high, but on that Sunday morning the door was not locked.

Soon, Adamson became aware that his son had not returned within the usual time it took to fill the jugs, so he left his house and went in search of his son, to see what was keeping him.

When he arrived at the well, he spotted his son’s bonnet floating on the surface of the water.

Quickly, he made his way to his garden where he picked up his rake, ran back to the well, and put it down as far as it would go.

The rake touched something soft at the bottom of the well and he knew instantly that it was his little boy.

Adamson managed to haul his son to the surface and after leaving the child with a couple of neighbours, he made his way to Clackmannan to fetch Dr Cameron.

The two of them rushed back to the child and the doctor tried everything to resuscitate him but it was to no avail.

The little boy was dead.

On Tuesday, August 24, David was interred at Alloa.

It was later presumed the little boy had pushed open the door to the well and had lost his footing, then fell in, and drowned.