West Bow
West Bow Well

The Foot of West Bow and West Bow Well  -   from the Grassmarket

The foot of West Bow and West Bow Well  -  view from the Grassmarket

  Copyright: Peter Stubbs  -   please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk                           Photograph taken: 11am,   7 Dec 2005


small photo

    Looking from the


large photo

    Looking from the



West Bow and West Bow Well

This view looks looks from the eastern end of the Grassmarket to the buildings at the foot of West Bow.

The two shops here have changed hands many times.  I have photos of them taken at intervals between 1990 and 2005, to be added to the web site, some day.



Recollections of West Bow

Thank you to Graeme Charles Munro, now living in Adelaide, South Australia, who wrote:


"Our house in the Grassmarket was two flats up, above the blue shop.  There was only one toilet to six families when we were there, and queue's were frequent. It was nice to move in 1940 to Drylaw to have our own house.

I stuck my finger in the plaque on the well, and my sister had to suck her finger and rub the juice on mine to get it out,  ha!"

Graeme Charles Munro, Adelaide, South Australia, November 29, 2007



More recollections of West Bow

Thank you to Graeme Charles Munro, who wrote again:

Police Box

"I remember playing with my double-deck bus, which was half the height of me, and made out of wood, on the floor in our bedroom, (the kids bedroom) in our house. 

My Dad was sitting at the window and the siren of the police box went off!  My Dad said 'Well, that's it' meaning the start of WW2.

The Police Box

(painted blue)

   Foot of West Bow from the Grassmarket

Underground Toilet

"There used to be an underground toilet between the fountain and the police box, but there was a riot in the late thirties, and a policeman on horseback fell down there, and got killed, so it was filled in.  I remember it was all pale and dark green tiles.

The Vennel

Do you know, I never knew the existence of The Vennel in the Grassmarket, 'till recently. I saw a woman, supposedly walking down stairs, out of a wall, with a long grey coat on in 1939.

It was only lately I saw a picture of this alleyway heading down to the Grassmarket with the view of the Castle in the back and I was amazed.  A friend of mine even drove from Gyle, to have a look for me, ha!...I was hurriedly waiting to hear from him by e-mail what the story was.

Graeme Charles Munro, Adelaide, South Australia, November309, 2007

The Vennel

The Vennel is a narrow lane that leads between the old houses then down steps and into the SW corner of the Grassmarket.  This view looks down from the top of the Vennel towards the Grassmarket in the valley and Edinburgh Castle on the hill beyond.

W R & S  -  Photograph from the early-1900s  -  The Vennel