Saturday, April 02, 2011

St Bernard's Well

Assording to legend StBernard's Well was originally discovered by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, the founder of the Cistercian Order, in the 12th Century, who was ill and living in a cave near the Water of Leith. He noticed the spring because so many birds visited it and he drank its healing waters until his strength returned.

The well was re-discovered by three school boys from Heriot's School while they were fishing in the Water of Leith in 1760. A simple well house covered it until 1789, when the current building was commissioned by Lord Gardenstone and designed by Edinburgh landscape painter Alexander Nasymth. The marble statue represents Hygieia, Goddess of Health.

For decades wealthy holiday makers used to visit Edinburgh to take the well's waters. These waters were believed to cure arthritis, back ache, and even blindness. The taste was apparently pretty disgusting though. At one point the pump room apparently resembled a continental cafe and the water was even bottled at one point. The well remained open until 1940. Nowadays you can access the interior only on special occasions such as Edinburgh's Doors Open Day.

I posted a photo of bridges further up the Water of Leith over on Crafty Green Poet. You can see them here.


Sylvia K said...

Such a lovely monument and interesting history, Juliette! Soft lovely shadows for the day! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!


Ralph said...

No doubt the healing water is very full of minerals, which no doubt gives it the terrible taste. But who thinks that anything with medicinal properties tastes great anyway? The statue is lovely!

Linda said...

That would be wonderful to visit and photograph.

Sandy's witterings said...

Thanks for the history of St Bernard's well - it's rather a lovely thing (I think setting helps) and I didn't anything about it at all.

EG CameraGirl said...

Thanks for the history. I smiled when I read that school boys had rediscovered it more than two-and-a-half centuries ago. It sure has been around for a while! Hmmm. I wonder if the boys tasted the water. :))

Hootin Anni said...

Beautiful photos...and the historical value you've shared is a special treat.

Monarch Butterfly Link

Happy Sunday.


Very interesting monument!

J.Rylie.C said...

So pretty!

Would you please drop by and see my shadows? Would love to see you!

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

A fascinating history lesson here.Thank you! And whenever I can afford to travel to the UK again, I'll visit St. Bernard's Well.


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