St Bernard's Well

Beside the Water of Leith, Stockbridge  -  2010

Statue to Hygieia, Greek goddess of health in the centre of the temple

 Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art  -  Garden in front of the Gallery

  Copyright: Peter Stubbs  -   please contact                                                 Photo taken:  July 2, 2010


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   Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art  -  Garden in front of the Gallery


 St Bernard's Well

Early History

St Bernard's well is a mineral spring on the south bank of the Water of Leith, between Stockbridge and Dean.  Legend has it that the well was first discovered in the 12th century.  It was rediscovered in 1760 and became a popular resort in the 1860s.

Source:  JK Gillon web site

Pump Room and Temple

In 1789, work began on the present pump room and circular temple, commissioned from Alexander Naysmyth (1758-1840), father of the amateur etcher and painter, James Naysmith (1808-1890).

Here is a photo of St Bernard's well taken by Thomas Vernon Begbie, showing how the well looked in the mid-19th century - very similar to today !

Saint Bernard's Well - Photograph by Begbie

Statue of Hygieia

The temple is based on Sybils' Temple at Tivoli.  It has has ten Doric columns with a statue to Hygieia, the Greek goddess of health, in the centre.

The original statue was sculpted in 1791 in Coade stone, a ceramic material  that Mrs Eleanor Coade (1733-1821) described as 'artificial stone'.

The statue was replaced in 1888 by a figure carved by the Edinburgh sculptor David Watson Stevenson (1842-1904).

Most of the details above have been taken from the Wikipedia  Stockbridge and Coade stone web sites.  Other details are from the Ratho History web site.



Please click on the thumbnail image below to zoom-in to see the statue of Hygieia:

Statue to Hygieia, Greek goddess of health, in the center of the temple above St Bernard's Well, Stockbridge, Edinburgh


St Bernard's Well Stockbridge

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