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Dean Village

Dean Village {from dene meaning 'deep valley') is a former village in the northwest of Edinburgh, Scotland. It was known as the "Water of Leith Village" and had been a successful grain milling hamlet for more than 800 years. At one time there had been no fewer than eleven working mills there, driven by the strong currents of the Water of Leith. The mylnes of Dene were listed in the King David I[?] Charters. There was also a mineral source at St. Bernard's Well, and one of the Court of Sessions judges commissioned a Pump room[?] to be constructed in the shape of a pillared temple with a statue of Hygeia, the Greek goddess of health in the centre.

In 1832, the four-arched Dean Bridge, designed by Thomas Telford and 106 feet above the water level, was built over Dean Gorge.

However, the port of Leith began to be very successful, and Dean Village's trade diminished. For many years, the village became associated with decay and poverty. Now the workers' cottages, warehouses and mill buildings have been restored and the area has once more become a desirable residential area.

The Water of Leith has become a local amenity, with a waymarked trail, the Water of Leith Walkway[?], running from Balerno[?] via Dean Village to Leith.

Among the better known residents of Dean Village is Aleksander Zyw (1905-1995), an artist and painter from Poland.

Dean Cemetery stands on the site of Dean House, a mansion house which was part of Dean Estate whch had been bought by Sir William Nisbet in 1609 and demolished in 1845. The cemetery is the resting place of many well-known people, including the railway engineer Sir Thomas Bouch. Sculptured stones from the house are incorporated into the terrace wall on the edge of the cemetery. A painted ceiling from Dean House is now in the National Museum of Antiquities.



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