This 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.
- 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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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