A recent conversation with the current owners of Todhill Farm (east of Torwood Castle), revealed that the Blue Pool may have once been the water supply for Todhill — mmm . . . another one I hear you say — well this story has some interesting merits.
It is obvious that the Blue Pool was an expensive engineering project and was not built to save a few peasants from the toil of carrying water half a mile from the nearest well. It would have needed the finance of Industry or someone very wealthy. You will have noticed that I am still thinking ‘Water Tank’.
I have spoken to the most likely older people in Torwood and Dunipace and it is becoming evident that there is not a person alive today who actually knows the purpose of our Blue Pool.
I have just spoken to the Farmer at Denovan Mains Farm, David Graham. David has lived all his 62 years on the farm and has known about the Blue Pool since he was a young boy. He remembers ‘lots’ of planks of wood in and around the pool. He would throw a plank vertically into the pool and see how high it went when it shot back up.
Sometimes he and his friends would arrive at the pool to find all the planks in the water. Other times the planks were scattered around the pool. Obviously there were others visiting the pool.
David remembers seeing the loose bricks lying on the bottom but does not remember the six inch pipe or the brick arch and he never saw any slates.
I asked him about it being a water supply for Todhill. David said he had never heard of the pool being associated with Todhill but he did know about the farm. David’s suggestions about Todhill were intriguing and will form my line of enquiry when I next visit Callendar House records library.
David told me that Todhill was once bought by a very wealthy man, who had some sort of association with Carron Iron Works.
The farm house itself was very opulent and obviously cost a lot more than other farm houses in the area even though the acreage of the farm was modest and the land was very poor.
Did this man build his own personal water storage tank up the hill in Torwood? Did he use his own money? Did he put it through as a company expense with no paperwork (I hope not)?
Lots of question marks but I think it’s the most tantalizing line of enquiry so far.
You will notice from my new Google map of the area (above) that the compass bearing line takes the inlet pipe in the general direction of Thorneydyke Quarry.
David told me that Doghillock Farm (south west of our pool) used to get its water supply from the Thorneydyke area.
This area is shown on older Ordnance Survey maps as being boggy wetland and had a sizeable pond that has vanished in just the last few years. The area has been leveled and transformed with no remaining sign of Thorneydyke Quarry or the pond.
I end this update on a sad and cautionary note. About two years ago, a local woman lost her Golden Labrador. Eventually a search ensued and her friend found the dog drowned in the Blue Pool. It was during a long dry period and the level of the pool had dropped by at least two feet. The dog was unable to get back out.