Discover the underground vaults of Edinburgh city! Far below the busy, bustling Edinburgh streets there lies a dark, quiet and forgotten place. These wonderful dark rooms of arched ceilings, fireplaces and 18th century wine vaults lie beneath the South Bridge, one of the city's main thoroughfares.
The late 18th century was a time of great expansion and innovation in Edinburgh. To improve access from the Old Town to the new developments two enormous structures were built, the North and South Bridges. By 1790 there were almost one hundred businesses active on the South Bridge with their workshops in the underground Vaults below.As well as lack of natural light, the Vaults suffered from water seeping from the South Bridge above, stalactites are evidence of this.But, there was a darker side too. To the immediate south stands Infirmary Street, where Edinburgh's medical school used to be. It was here that the notorious pair, Burke and Hare, sold the bodies of their murdered victims. Could the vaults have stored a different sort of merchandise?