What We Know

Nigel TurnballThis website was setup to retain and continue all the good work and valuable information collated by the late Nigel Turnbull.
All first-person references within the text are referring to Nigel.

 


The Torwood Blue Pool is a round brick lined pool which in a cleared strip of Tor Wood to the south west of Torwood, north of Denny and Larbert.

Torwood Blue Pool

The questions:

  • What was the function and purpose of the blue pool ?
  • When was it built ?
  • Who built it ?
  • When did it cease to have a purpose ?
  • Where does the water come from and why does the level change ?
  • Did you ever swim in it ?

What we know so far 

Torwood Blue Pool near Dunipace

Land Utilisation Map

I first came across the blue pool in 1961 when I was ten years old. I lived in nearby Dunipace. The pool looked exactly the same then as it does now but I don’t remember there being any trees around it.
My uncle, also a local, remembers it from his youth (late 1930’s) and described it as looking just the same.

A lifetime later I had forgotten the exact location of the blue pool but rediscovered it in 2007. Most people I speak to refer to it as the Blue Pool. The blue pool had a remarkably vivid blue colour and was crystal clear. It was like looking through a blue diamond and you could see the bottom quite clearly — according to my 45 year old memory.

The blue colour, it seems, is not that big a mystery. I wrongly thought that water got its blue colour from reflecting the blue sky but it seems that clear deep water refracts light in such a way that it produces its own blue colour.

Torwood Pool looking blue

Torwood Pool looking blue

If the above is true I would expect to see the same colour in our reservoirs but I have never seen that blue colour anywhere in Scotland other than the Torwood Blue Pool. Are there any water and light-refraction experts out there ?

Could the blue colour have anything to do with dissolved chemicals or minerals ? Nobody who was exposed to the water has reported a desire to put the letter ‘S’ on a T-shirt and leap tall buildings.

If the pool was being fed by an external source of water, I would rather expect the level to be constant but this is not the case.
Is it simply being topped up by rainwater and evaporating during dry spells? Would this make it a ‘stagnant pond’?
If so why is the water so clear and odourless? is the algae and plant life keeping the water clean?

Torwood Blue Pool looking West-ish

Looking West-ish

Heather Livingston from Ontario, Canada.
There were no trees near the pool in 1983. The only trees were across from Torwood castle.
For some reason we always stayed on the side looking towards Torwood castle — smoother land? I remember getting out of the pool the same place as the dogs do — not sure why.
It was always an open area. Only walking on the foot path [right of way path to Denovan, heading south] near the castle were there trees — then it opened up to open fields.
I do remember the water being clear too and seeing the bottom in 1983. I just remember the debris of trees at the bottom. I never actually swam to the bottom.

Torwood Blue Pool looking North-ish

Looking North-ish

Caroline Kerr from Aberdeen, Scotland.
I grew up in Dunipace and visited the blue pool quite often while out walking. I always wondered what it was for. My father said it might be an old airshaft for a mine. I have written in my photo album that the pool is very blue.


 

For further reading, please start at the posts page.

 


184 thoughts on “What We Know

  1. Bertie Broomfield

    Hi, I think that this is an irrigation well for the plantation all around the site of the Blue Hole. Its basically a way of keeping a steady flow of water to feed the trees where the soil doesn’t hold the water too well. Perhaps similar in some way to this http://www.lboro.ac.uk/well/resources/technical-briefs/42-small-scale-irrigation-design.pdf
    However the chances of me coming along and solving this mystery are pretty slim so i’m fully prepared to be shot down in flames.

    Should we be looking at irrigation well deigns of the 19th century???

    1. Nigel Turnbull

      Thanks Bertie. The investigation is still wide open. Your idea of an irrigation system is an interesting one. One of my early theories was just the opposite of that. I thought it might have been a drainage sump for draining the surrounding boggy land. The ground in that area is pretty wet most of the year. Earlier this year, a farmer was putting in even more drainage next to the main path. I have read of drainage being added about 100 years ago. There are several small streams (‘Rises’ on the old maps) that come to the surface in that area.

  2. Craig

    I have recently visited the pool and stumbled over your site. Not sure if it is relevant but when I was a kid, about 20 years ago we used to play about in the old RSNH particularly around Larbert House and the Loch. Anyway I remeber one day we were at the front of the house and walked down to the Loch we crossed the road and jumped the fence and there was the tops of an arch that looked like it had been eroded away by rain. There was a big enough gap for us to get our heads in and we could see that the part of the brick arch we could see was only a tiny part of a much bigger archway, beyond there was a massive tunnel heading towards the house, I remember thinking it was so big you could fit a truck in it. I remember the brick work was similar to the brick work round the blue pool but not sure if this has anything to do with it. A few weeks later we went back and the hole had been recovered. I also remember what we called an ice house bring behind Larbert house, similar sort of brick work again.

    1. Nigel Turnbull

      Thanks Craig. An amazing observation. I can’t imagine what such a large arch near the house would have been for — maybe a nuclear shelter from the cold war .
      Even if it turns out to have nothing to do with the Blue Water Pool, it is certainly worth recording for local interest. Ice Houses are fairly common, in fact it was one suggested possibility for the Blue Water Pool, early on in the investigation.

      1. Kenny mccaff

        We always said bomb shelter when we were weans forestry later reckoned meat fridge there’s also a buried tunnel at the loch leading away from larbert was told so visitors could avoid grounds keepers. Fascinating wee place larbert/torwood.

    1. Nigel Turnbull

      Thanks Mrs.Wummin. First time I have heard canals mentioned — I’ll start another shelf in the enquiry. I have watched boats going through lock gates and as I recall, the amount of water needed to refill the lock would take about 3 or 4 Blue Pool loads.

  3. Bob Murphy

    I remember playing up there as a kid. Good to see some detective and restoration work happening! Though about seeing if a local sub-aqua club would be interested in taking a look?

    1. Nigel Turnbull

      Thanks Bob. No sub-aqua efforts as yet. I would like to try and clear some more weed and debris from the arch so that a person or camera will have something to see rather than just weed. The water clouds over as soon as anything is disturbed down there.

    1. Nigel Turnbull

      Nothing in life is safe Gregor, you can choke on a cup of tea.
      I have lost count of the number of people who say they have swum in the Blue Water, though the bottom has a lot more debris on it now than ye olden days. Although I have heard the stories, I have never actually seen anyone swimming in the Blue Pool and I have never done so myself.
      Bottom line is that if YOU are not confident, then don’t do it.
      If the water level is down by two or three feet, it could be very difficult getting back out of the pool. A Labrador dog discovered this a few years ago with tragic results.
      Never swim alone. Always have a friend to show the police where yer body is – it saves time

    1. Nigel Turnbull

      Hope you enjoyed your swim Stephen – with all that nicely cleaned brickwork – How was the temperature? It was certainly a warm day. Did your swimming disturb any of the silt on the bottom?

      Thanks for that Alastair. This is the first mention I have heard of Monks in the area. I will have to open a new file.

  4. Alastair Brookes

    I remember the pool from around the same time as Heather …. and we spent most of the summer up at the pool!
    What I always remember was the vivid blue colour … but there was always a curiosity to the place, there were always planks lying around if fact we would run a plank directly across the pool to allow us to jump in and out, from what I recall these planks were similar to what you find on scaffolding or a joist in a roof.

    The water was always ice cold, something tells me that we tried several times to dive down to exlore the archway but could never get access!

    Will think some more and update if anything else comes to mind!

    1. Nigel Turnbull

      Thanks for that Alastair, I have added your email to the mailing list.
      Although I don’t actually recall the planks myself, there have been loads of recollections (even before my time in the early 60’s) — maybe around six planks. I cannot even begin to imagine what they were for.
      I too remember that whatever time I visited the pool the water was extremely cold. When I tried the temperature last June (after a warm spell) the temperature was the same as the air and remarkably warm — maybe all the algae was heating it up

      The arch is still the best clue so far. Whatever reason the pool was built for, why did it need a big arch ? I clean the arch out a wee bit every time I am up there — I am overdue a visit. I have built a Tupperware underwater camera housing but I am very reluctant to test it

      1. Alastair Brookes

        Hi Nigel,

        Spoke with my dad … he thinks that area was worked on by a colony of Monks … have you heard about this?? different angle!!

  5. Ann Knox

    Hi nigel im mark egans girlfriend and alex gallaghers friend. I have discussed the blue pool with my mum who is originally from denny. She often took walks around the area especially the Denovan one which passes the site. She remembers while on this walk resting at the wall of the blue pool field but never having seen the pool (not suprising as it can easily be missed!!) Also she was able to dig out an old book about Denny and Bonnybridge and there is a reference to a round sunken structure which had a name but ive forgotton it but will post the name and book title tomorrow i promise. But it sounded interesting and might help with this mystery

    1. Nigel Turnbull

      That sounds great Ann and thanks for that. I would certainly appreciate you sending the name tomorrow – the earlier the better

  6. Stephanie Hunter/David Hunter

    Hi Nigel I still rekcon it is a kiln! My reasons well there is a few but after the dome is complete the steel band/iron should be tightened the walls plastered with a fine clay mortar and the dome brushed with a clay slurry ti close all cracks and openings.There is a site on charcaol kilns no 8.1 which shows a perfect picture the door is underground,we started to dig away that find yesterday and would love to investagate more. David is sticking with the air shaft theory but me I believe it is a charcaol kiln!

    Hi Nigel spent the day investigeting our find,we have now found a cast iron pipe directly in line with the man hole same as the Blue water but the pipe comes out of the brick and then desends vertically!!!!!
    The only way we are going to find out is for this to be dug out the answer lies in this one as there is no water in it trying to get the photos to yourself got some good ones.

    1. Nigel Turnbull

      Hi Stephanie/David,

      I certainly liked the charcoal kiln idea at one time but having the arched doorway five metres down in bog-land does not seem very practical.

      I am sure the main clue in the Blue Pool is the brick arch – does it travel one metre or a thousand metres ? – the latter would have to be a ventilation shaft and tunnel.
      Once I get the weed cleared from inside the arch, I hope to get a camera down and take a look along the arch – hopefully the whole length will not be choked with weed. I would expect it to slope downwards at a fairly steep angle if it was a ventilation tunnel.

      I am really interested in how your Carbrook project goes so please keep me informed. I don’t think I have your email yet. I met a local guy, James, yesterday when I responded to your find. He says his dad has a print of a painting of Carbrook House. James was adamant (and his dad insists) that the nearby building was a Coach House and never to be called Stables – be warned! James seemed to think the land was currently owned by the people who used to have Jones Sawmill.

  7. alexander gallacher

    hi blue pool guy me and my friend mark egan visited the blue pool today and we think that it could possibly be clay at the bottom of this pool to create its magnificant blue colour due to the clay Very fine clay in suspension in the water diffracts light in different ways producing a spectrum of colour sometimes green sometimes turquoise.do not quote me on this one but it would possibly explain . blue colour and colour changes in different seasons…. by the way what happened to the pices of debris you found around the pool site ?? me and my friend mark would like to meet up with you at this pool at sumtime to discuss more in person hope to hear back from you soon….

    if anybody else was able to get me and mark some diving gear we will go down for a nosey

    1. Nigel Turnbull

      Thanks for the Clay Theory Alexander. I won’t rule it out but I rather favour the idea that water absorbs the longer Red and Green wavelengths of light, allowing Blue to pass the furthest. The light travels 2×4=8metres and the crystal clear water takes on a blue hue.
      Unfortunately the bottom is covered in dark weed that is absorbing most of the light and the pool currently is more black than blue. Remember to discount any reflection of the blue sky.
      We have a diver on possible request but he would be wasting his time at the moment. As soon as there is any disturbance of the bottom – especially around the arch – the water clouds over almost instantly. I need to brush the area clean around the arch before it would be worth diving – I clean a wee bit every time I am up there and it takes the water a day or two to go clear again.
      If you fancy grappling some of those old trees out, be my guest – be warned they are very slimy and stinking – I have removed one already.
      If you find a brass plaque with the name of a coal company, please advise me immediately.
      I tend to arrive at the Blue Pool just when I get a spare hour or two and it is impossible (at the moment) to predict this in advance. Maybe in three weeks or thereabouts I will be better able to specify a day and time to meet you there.

  8. Susan Cameron

    If you think it’s mining related, perhaps try the Summer Lee Heritage Museum, Coatbridge for some answers? Do you think it’s a natural spring or if it was a natural spring would it not flow constantly? Does anyone on the site know of a diver to go down and have a look?

    Take care Susan & Elaine

    1. Nigel Turnbull

      Thanks for that Susan & Elaine. I will keep that facility in mind.
      Except in very dry spells there is a constant overflow of water over the top lip of the pool. The flow is on average about the same as a bath tap running. The area is quite littered by streams, starting presumably from rising water, so the pool seems to be following the same pattern as these surrounding Rises (as they are called on the old maps)

  9. David Hunter

    Hi sorry to keep coming back with theories, looking at the map you have on here the blue water and the hole that we found today are ontop of Plean Pit no 4 so dose this mean that they are air shafts.
    In the square man hole there would appear to be a large cast iron valve possible separating the water from the air before pumping the air down the mine,this is difficult to describe you need to have a look!
    One other theory my wife came up with are they kiln the size ,materials used in making them all reads to this to be a charcoal kiln!

    1. Nigel Turnbull

      Hello again David. I hope to put up a summary in the next week or two to let everyone know my findings – some of which are not yet published.
      There is unfortunately a large fault line that divides the Plean Collieries from the Blue Pool.
      I was rather taken by the idea of an underground Charcoal Kiln for a bit, but the brick arch would be the doorway and it is 4 metres under very wet boggy land. There is no sign of blackening or tar residue on the brickwork.

  10. David Hunter

    2nd May 2010 I David Hunter from Torwood now have the answer to your question. I have just found a second red brick air vent with square manhole next to it,this is now giving the correct answer to what the blue water is. This is perfactly in line with carbrooke clay mines main,this to to difficult to explain will post photos soon.

    The web site you need to go onto is type in carbrooke clay mine torwood and then click into Scotlands place record page Carbrooke Clay Mine, you will then see the pictures click onto the one with the pit entrance and if you follow the picture the second blue water is right at the bottom.

    I can now confirm this is the same diametre as the blue water,also the same brick there is also slate. Clay is also around the external of the wall,the square has cast iron pipes!Have no idea what it is seems to be full of some kind of oil! Both of these have been filled in with soil, location the old Carbrooke stables.

    Just done some more research the Carbrook Clay Mine opened in 1953 so it really rules out that they were for the mine!So back to square one the next theory was why are there are two the same size both with a manhole and one is next to the castle the next one is next to Carbrook House WHY!!!!!
    Is there any more? Why is the one we found got oil in the manhole? Also this one has been filled in with soil and the first one has water in it! Surely there is someone out there with an answer.

    1. Nigel Turnbull

      An amazing find David – well done.
      How did you ever think to look there?
      I took some photos tonight but the light was getting low.
      It certainly has a lot of similarities. It measures 19ft 5ins internal diameter and the Blue Pool is exactly 20ft.

      I spoke with your lead, David McCartney on Friday. He is a wealth of useful local information but he has never seen the Blue Pool. He was referring to a small brick building maybe a couple of hundred metres NE of Blue Pool – an interesting snippet just the same.

      Keep up the hunt David – you’re doing a great job.
      I don’t think I have your email on the mailing list.

  11. David Hunter

    Hi Nigel,
    As a child from Torwood my friends and I swam in it every summer,last swam in it in 1990. We all used to dive in it to see if we could reach the bottom thankfuly we never found the bottom. As a child I was told that this was a water supply in case of forrest fire sorry not sure of the correct term to use hopefuly this will help.

    1. Nigel Turnbull

      Thanks David. The forest fire water supply has been suggested but does not seem credible — too expensive — and there were other natural pools nearby.

  12. chic comrie

    Hi Nigel
    i had a talk with my dad and he does not no what the pool was used for i will still ask around and will mail you when i have found out.

    1. Nigel Turnbull

      Thanks for that Chic. I found a couple of new pipes today after our meeting on the Denovan path.
      I will try to get a quick update onto the page.

  13. David Hunter

    Hi Nigel, as discussed when we bumped into each other last week up at the pool. The local man is Davy McArtney, worked at Todd Hill farm all his days and is now in his late 70’s.
    I spoke to Davy in the passing the other night and he remembers the pool very well. Davy told me that this used to be used as a water supply for the surrounding farms. This water supply was for the cattle only as the farm dwellings had a seperate water supply. The pool serviced many fields and has many lead pipes leading from it that ran to various troughs.
    The pool was covered over over and was in fact a shed, that is where you will have gotten the slate and the cast pipe from. The only person that had access to this structure back then was the old game keeper who had a key to the shed and used to regulate the water to the fields by adjusting some valves.

    I only got a brief run down from Davy as I was in a hurry however he has said that he will try and give me a detailed sketch of the layout of the pool and pipe work. I will also get confirmation of the game keepers name.

    Regards

    David

    1. Nigel Turnbull

      Thanks very much for that David – a very interesting lead indeed.
      I have removed David McCarney’s (contact) details from this post.
      Sounds like he was working at Todhill from around 1950.
      The shed is fascinating and would certainly explain flat slates and half round guttering and planks of wood.
      The curved metal casting (similar to OG guttering) would not be so easily explained by the above.

      It is possible that the Blue Pool had a change of use/purpose during its lifetime.
      I have several witnesses (including myself) from the early sixties who remember the Pool looking much the same as today and nobody recalled a shed so it may have been damaged by storm or dismantled towards the end of the 1950’s
      The description would contradict an account I already have (only one witness) of the pool looking the same in the 1930’s as it does now – unless it was a short lived shed built at the end of the 30’s
      I will certainly contact David McCartney at the suggested location but that will be about two weeks away.
      I will try to get a quick update uploaded to the web page soon.

  14. David Hunter

    Great reading about the “Blue pool”. I used to swim in this pool as a kid (30+ yrs ago), and we all new it as “The Blue Water”. I was told about this site only today ( thanks Jane) and thought I would have a look as I have only recently started walking back int this area over the past few months. The thing I remeber about the “Blue “Water” was that if you throw a small stick into the pool it would immediately sink to the bottom, I tried this out again just last week and the same thing happened. The earlier post that states that this was a sewage stank does make me shiver at the thought of swimming in there however that would probably explain my rapid receeding hairline

    Was up at the “Blue Water” earlier this evening and again threw in a stick, guess what? it floated, tried it again and again and it kept floating , so I guess that makes a nonsense of my earlier post. One good thing, the water was very clear which made it quite easy to see the arch.

  15. alan

    Hi there Nigel
    I lived in torwood for 20 years ,my mum still lives there and I go visit her all the time.
    I remember the blue pool when I was a liitle lad and the water level was always crystal clear and the level varied from time to time when we went up to look.
    We would walk the path to denoven quite regular and always look at the blue pool just because we had never seen anything like it anywhere before.
    I remember the planks across the pool, there were a few and some were at the bottom. The water has always been crystal clear every time I seen it but we never really knew what its purpose was for, the arch has always been a mystery to me as well so I was quite excited when I found your page and the other peoples comments.
    The first time I seen the blue pool would have been around 1979 and as I still live local I stil go up from time to time .

  16. Eric Flack

    If it was to do with mining the iron content of the water would be much higher. I suggest a water supply of some sort.The bricks would suggest a late 19th century period.

    1. Nigel Turnbull

      Thanks Eric — I note your observation on the iron content but I don’t have the expertise to comment. There was a fair bit of Ironstone mining around Dunipace. When the seams were exhausted, the same pits concentrated on the coal strata.
      I agree with your proposed date.

      Thanks Cameron — I think it would depend on the particular mine and strata. In the nearby town of Falkirk, some of the earliest piped water supplies were drawn from redundant mines. It was an offence to source water from a working mine, though this did occasionally happen with unfortunate results.

      Regards, Nigel

  17. cameron

    If it was a flooded mine airshaft wouldn’t the water be polluted/toxic?
    Your analysis of the water sample was clear…
    Great site – absolutely fascinating work. Thanks.

  18. natalie Cooper

    My boyfriend is from banknock and remebers going for a walk when he was a wee lad(about 30 years ago) with his dad to torwood castle. He also remembers seeing a ‘well’ which i assume is the blue pool. his memory of it when he looked in the pool there seemed to be small brick archways in the pool with tunnels leading away from it. I can see from the pictures that sediment has formed and the botom is no longer visible. His father was told that the pool is fed by a natural spring and it was mentioned it was a source of water for a nearby hospital. just another take on the discussions.
    He also mentioned a nearby cave known as ‘wallaces cave’. he recommends a visit as its still a vivid childhood experience for him. i recently went to torwood castle and was very impressed by the beautiful building but have yet to see the pool.

    1. Nigel Turnbull

      Dear Natalie,
      Thanks for your input. You are obviously aware that we found and photographed (part of) the predicted brick arch.
      My ears fair ******* up when you used the plurals archway(s) and tunnel(s) — that’s a first for this investigation.
      There’s a lot of rising water breaks the surface in the Torwood area. The old maps show several ‘Rises’ and one ‘Spring’. If the Blue Pool is connected to old mine workings, it could be that the workings are now flooded.
      Wallace never visited the cave that takes his name. I too remember it from my youth. It is actually a very old mine working and definitely an unsafe place to be going anywhere near these days. The opening is in a crumbling rock face and large chunks have fallen off fairly recently.
      Best just to visit Wallace’s Monument

      mmm I see the over exuberant auto-censor has changed my perfectly innocent word, describing the action of my ears, into something sinister.

      1. Rob Lowe

        Hi,

        I was just skimming your blue pool website. I noticed you refer to springs and uprising sources of water. I’m VERY interested in this, we are currently trying to convince the govt to object to coal Sean gas drilling under torwood, Larbert and plean. One major concern is gas escape via old workings and contamination of the water table. An upward flow of water could indicate a significant subterranean feature. Could you please tell me more….

        Regards,

        Rob

        1. admin Post author

          Hello,

          It’s with regret that Nigel, who collated this information, passed away last year. The information has been migrated here to ensure it is kept in the public domain and that further updates can be continued.

          Regards

  19. j,e, bingham

    when i was a child i used to walk my dog with my friend and my father in fact the dog swam in it on many occasions.’ according to my father this had been a air vent for an old mine working hope this helps

  20. Frances Annette Hixenbaugh

    Nigel:

    I loved the video and all the actor’s comments. I was in Scotland in 1995 for a family reunion, and am sorry we didn’t get to spend more time at Torwood Castle. Mr. Gordon Millar was living then, and working night and day on Torwood’s restoration.

    Your little film makes me homesick to see the Castle and explore the Torwood. Thank you so much for your efforts.

    Your’s Aye,

    Annette Hixenbaugh
    Regional Commissioner
    CLAN FORRESTER, U.S.A.

  21. Eileen Livingston

    l can cleary remember the wooden plank you found. Back in the mid eighties l can remember the fun we had holding it vertically and then pushing it down so we could then see it shoot back up in the air from the top of the pool. (oh how easy it was to amuse youngsters back then compared to now!)Though l’m certain they were at least 2 planks, maybe as many as 3. Maybe they are stuck somewhere below too.

    1. Nigel Turnbull

      Thanks for that Eileen. Did the plank have a taper on it that you remember?
      The other planks were probably taken away by someone who needed planks for a building project.
      The taper on the remaining plank has me wondering — can’t imagine anyone passing an afternoon whittling a 10×2 plank over a 6 foot length.
      I have been told there was a fire in the area at some point. I wonder if the plank was partially sticking out of the water and was burned away most at the point furthest from the water.
      I dare say the Fire Department might have a record of the fire. It might be worth contacting them in case they have any worthwhile knowledge of the pool — other than it being an available emergency water supply and fire fighting asset.

  22. Stuart

    Walked to this pool in the summer on the way to the Broch. On the assumption that it’s probably not a unique structure, you would tend to look elsewhere for something similar? Having had a scout around it looks like a early-mid or late 1800’s cesspit which would be consistent with the height of the pipe and the story of the old beehive roof. Given the Carron ironworks was the largest smelting works in europe from 1800’s onward, employing over 1000 people this might make sense as they owned the land and would not have had modern drainage to start with.

    If you do a search for archeological cesspit design (not that I make a habit of it) you can find similar types of builds, the link below is a smaller build but could indicate it’s the same type of construction.

    http://www.community-archaeology.org.uk/projects/UnderstandingOspringe/K48rep.htm

    Have you had the sediment at the bottom tested for traces of sewage? (until you do, I wouldnt swim in it )

    Very interesting though, good luck.

    Brgds
    Stuart

    1. Nigel Turnbull

      Thanks for taking the time to do that Stuart. I am sure there are people who have swum in the Blue Pool and now are reading this while scratching themselves raw.
      Although Carron Company owned Torwood, they were only interested in the minerals underground. There are no houses shown in the area of the pool on any old Ordnance Survey Maps. Carron Iron Works was 3 miles away and I am sure the workers would have lived near the works.
      The nearest dwellings to the pool (new map further up page) were Torwood Castle, Denovan House, Doghillock, Kirkland and Todhill. All of these buildings are at least half a mile from the pool but more importantly the pool is at a higher elevation than any of the buildings and you would need a lot of Brussels Sprouts in your diet to force your effluent up that pipe. I hope this stops everyone scratching themselves. Keep the ideas coming — it’s far from a one-horse race.
      Nigel

  23. David McLagan

    I first saw the pool around 1985 and my generation from Denny referred to it as the Witches Pool. It was a magnificent vivid blue colour. I remember that a fairly established tree line was a matter of metres from the pool but not up close as it is today. My brother has swum in it.
    I last saw the pool around 2005 and it looks more blue in the winter than in the summer. I tended to only go there on good days so the blue sky may have been a factor. One winter I remember seeing leaves on the bottom and they looked like silver.

  24. Sandie

    I just wanted to say how interesting reading all about the blue pool has been, I came across this site quite by accident, whilst looking for info on how to clear green water from an above ground splash pool. I would have loved to have swam in your blue pool when it was an aqua marine colour as some one stated it was. I would love to find out if you ever did really find out its origins. good luck

    1. Nigel Turnbull

      Dear Sandy from Suffolk,
      Glad you enjoyed your read. We have not yet discovered the secrets of the Blue Pool but the investigation is very much ongoing as time and weather permit.
      I happened to be in nearby Fallin yesterday and handed out a few leaflets. The people were very interested but nobody had any immediate useful input.

  25. Eilen Livingston

    The only thing l can say for sure is the pool doesn’t just fill up with rain water and then evaporate to change levels. l have been up one day and the level has been about 4 feet (1m) from the top. However, the very next day it was full to the brim. There was no rainfall through the night and even if there had been it would never have been that much! The same thing has happened the other way round (full one day – 1m below the next)

  26. Ian & Agnes Bowie

    Could this man made structure not be a remnant of the now closed company “Torwood Brick and Fireclay Ltd”

    We remember arranging insurance for a company in Denny (can’t remember the name} but their job was to reclaim the linings of kilns from old works. Could it have been the case that there was a structure above the ground and it was only removed to ground level?

    1. Nigel Turnbull

      Thanks for the input Agnes.
      The only reference I can find to the Torwood Brick and Fireclay Co. is a site owned by Bonnybridge Silica & Fireclay Co. http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/140166/details/carbrook+clay+mine/
      (Carbrook Clay Mine — alternate name, Torwood Mine) and located, I think, north of Torwood and quite some distance from the Blue Pool. It closed in 1982, which may have tied up with the time you refer to.

      More importantly, it was only opened in the 1940’s http://www.falkirk.gov.uk/services/community/cultural_services/museums/archives/finding_aids/PDFs/business/brickmaking.pdf
      and we know the pool was already there in the 1930’s — I suspect the pool is actually a lot earlier than 1930. Regards, Nigel

  27. Nigel Turnbull

    Note to Heather from Canada. Thanks for the info and photos. My digital camera records date and time in the ‘file info’.
    Your photographs of the pool were taken on 20 April 2007. That was just five days after I took my photos of the pool. It’s a small world is it not ?

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