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One of the oldest and most hidden structures within Edinburgh Castle has been digitally documented by Historic Environment Scotland, revealing valuable insights into the 700 year old structure.
The Fore Well, the primary source of water for the medieval castle, was cut deep into the volcanic rock on which the site stands. It first appears in historic records in 1314, when it was deliberately blocked by Robert the Bruce’s troops as part of wider destruction of the castle to prevent it being used against them.
In its long history, it has provided a vital lifeline to the castle’s residents throughout many sieges. During the Lang Siege in 1573 it was completely blocked by falling masonry from the bombarded David’s Tower and rendered unusable, though it was subsequently cleared and extended in the following century. This later extension of a long straight shaft is clearly visible in the new scans.
The well was first surveyed in 1912 by William Thomas Oldrieve, Architect for Scotland with the Office of Works.