St. Bernard's Well

Places Of Interest Edinburgh Old Town

St. Bernard's well can be found on the Water of Leith walkway between Deanhaugh Street and the Dean Bridge in the estate originally known as St. Bernard's. It was believed by some in the eighteenth century that the mineral spring which trinkled into the river had medicinal qualities. A well house had existed here since 1760.

In 1789 the owner, Francis Garden of Troup (Lord Gladstone) was convinced the waters eased his rheumatism and commissioned Alexander Nasmyth to build a new pump room on the site.

Building started by Johnn Wilson in the same year and St. Bernard's Well is in the form of a Doric temple based on Sybil's Temple at Tivoli with a domed roof supported by ten surrounding collumns.

The statue in the centre is Hygeia the Greek godess of health sculpted from Coade stone by D.W. Stevenson. The snake and the challis are ancient symbols of medicine.

The interior of the pump room below has domed ceiling decorated with an ornate mosaic ceiling and a guilded sun face with pierced ventilation holes.

Access to the small pump room is only available to the public at certain times of the year, including Open Doors day.

Details of opening times will be published here as they become available.


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