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 the Heritage Trail (PDF | 2.3MB)
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)