Edinburgh’s water supply

Tales of One City

A new story on Our Town Stories describes how a clean and safe water supply was brought to the city.

Edinburgh grew up around the Castle Rock with little provision for sanitation. For hundreds of years, residents were dependent on unreliable private and public pump wells, most having to collect water from the communal well.

Waiting at the wells, engraving, 1890

In the 1670s, the first sources of water which came into the city from springs in the Pentland Hills were piped into a reservoir on Castle Hill which in turn, supplied the street pumps. However, by 1817, faced with growing discontent from the populace about the insufficient supply, the Town Council needed to find another solution.

In 1819, approval for the construction of a reservoir at Glencorse was granted.

Glencorse Reservoir, c1879

Read further on Our Town Stories to find out how Edinburgh’s water supply has expanded over the…

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