Walking through Edinburgh’s Past…

Before we heard anything about Edinburgh’s gruesome past

Then Mr Howie takes us back in time!

Thumbscrews or ‘Thumbikins’ as they were known were clamped and tightened on the thumb nails as a form of torture.
They did what?!?!

The symbolism and wording on the old gravestones can help us learn about the beliefs and lives of people long ago. This is a PRIMARY source of evidence.

Another primary source are the buildings, windows, carvings and, would you believe it, extensions?! People were building extensions as far back as the 17th and 18th century. Edinburgh’s old town was seriously overcrowded so going up and out was a way of making space for the ever increasing population.

There was no plumbing or sewage system in Edinburgh’s old town. People collected water from a communal pump or well. Waste was a problem as there were so many residents. In some closes there were 10 storeys. On each storey there could be 10 people. We did the maths with Mr Howie and realised that over the course of one week there would be a lot of human (and animal) waste thrown out on to the streets of Edinburgh.
Thanks for a thrilling tour Mr Howie and Historic Edinburgh Tours!