Secret Tunnels of Edinburgh - Maurice McIlwrick

Wed 15th May 2019 at 19.00 - 20.30


Our speaker this evening was Maurice McIlwrick whose subject was The Secret Tunnels of Edinburgh. He advised that there were so many secret tunnels that for a 20 minute talk he would simply choose one!
Maurice had accidentally come across a tunnel whilst enjoying a coffee in the Grassmarket! Seeing an open door he decided to investigate and found himself inside a section of the Crawley Tunnel. As Edinburgh grew in size the powers that be decided that they needed to provide a water supply sufficient to meet its citizens’ needs. Using a supply from both the Nor and South Loch was no longer adequate. The famous engineers Telfer and Rennie were asked to come up with proposals and this they duly did. Telfer suggested an aquaduct to run the 9 mile length from near Flotterstone whilst Rennie proposed an underground 20 inch cast iron pipe. Rennie’s proposal was accepted and in 1817 work commenced to lay the pipe from Flotterstone to Hanover Street in the city. The pipe was kept level so that if there was a leak it would be easier to repair. They had to drill through solid rock in places and the work was completed in 1820 and is still in use today.
The talk was extremely interesting and laced with humour! Andy Howard proposed the vote of thanks on behalf of the Club.