I head back to Long Row and down to the road again. Alongside the road, I stop for a quick look at St Margaret’s (or Margret’s, as Ordnance Survey have it) Well. The well is behind a grill set into a modern stone façade, topped off with railings. Sadly, it lacks any kind of ambience or even much in the way of interest, behind the dense grill. I don’t linger, but head off for a walk around the various monuments on Calton Hill, as the dusk closes in.
I visited this site back last summer whilst heading for the nearby park / duck pond. I didn't realise this was site on TMA! Very easy to access and once your eyes have adjusted you can see pretty cleraly into the well. I remember being pleasantly surprised that there was no litter forced into the well. Also not far away is the (in my opinion) hiddeous Scotish Parliament building. (And I thought the Welsh Assembley building was poor!!)
Another site which I have visited, passed by and played around as a kid on countless occasions, but never got round to writing fieldnotes or taking piccies until now. Plus, many times I've passed by with my camera in the summer the front of the well has been sealed off (to prevent folk drinking the water which gets full of algae in the heat of the summer). Well, the summer has definitely long gone and the iron shutters are off allowing you to see into the mini-vaulted roof of this well through the black grill. The water flows from a spout built into the main supporting pillar of the roof. The whole structure has a certain flowing feel to it due to the black railing which curve round both sides of the well house.
NT2805674241 Saturday 22/6/02
At the very bottom of Meadowbank Stadium carpark on the road to the velodrome is a large triangular stone laid into which is a metal plaque which reads;
‘This stone marks the site of St. Margaret’s Well. The dressed stone work of the fifteenth century wellhouse built over this ancient medicinal well and centre of pilgrimage was removed in 1859 and used to build a replica of it over St. David’s Well in the Queen’s Park and the remains of the medieval building were filled in in 1969.’
This spot was apparently the site of the North British Railway sheds which were named after the well. The main east coast line still runs past here only about 5 metres to the south.
This well was originally sited at NT28057424- which is now next to the East Coast Mainline! The original site was just a bit to the east in Restalrig and the ancient vault was partly built over by a railway workshop (the shed being called 'St. Margaret's Works). The well house was moved in 1860 to its present position in Holyrood Park and the water which now flows from here was originally called St. David's Well.