preserved Wellheads can be found punctuated down the Royal Mile in:
THE HIGH STREET
Until 1820 these square stone well heads
were the only means by which the thousands of Old Town inhabitants could
The source of this supply, Castlehill Resevoir (1681) was replaced by
a new system in 1851. The 1.7 million gallon capacity was fed by springs
from the Pentland Hills.
Narrow necked buckets called stoups were used to collect and
contain water and a girr used as a means of providing stability
to the carrier. Caddies, who offered a delivery service carried
it in a purpose built barrel strapped to the back.
Castlehill Resevoir was decommissioned in 1992 and is now converted to
a unique working tartan mill in the old town.
The council would ration the water when it was in short supply during
the summer months. This meant that local residents could only use the
wells between midnight and 3 a.m. The wellheads were a place were locals
would gather and gossip in the queues and fighting were commonplace.