Edinburgh World Heritage - St Bernards Well

 

St Bernards Well

“The chief ornament of this delightful valley” Alexander Campbell, 1801

A natural spring was discovered near the Dean Village on the Water of Leith in 1760, and was soon a visitor attraction as at that time ‘taking the waters’ was thought to be very good for the health.

Some claimed that the water could cure everything from a bruised leg to ‘total blindness’, but others described the taste as having the ‘odious twang of hydrogen gas’ or even like ‘the washings from a foul gun barrel’.

The building was designed by the painter Alexander Nasymth in 1789, and the statue inside represents Hygeia the Greek goddess of health.

Download

Download the Heritage Trail (PDF | 2.3MB)

Podcast

Charles McKean, Professor of Architectural History at Dundee University, talks about the fascinating past of the well and the Dean Village.

Download Podcast (mp3 | 3.1MB)

 
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Learning

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