9 lost Edinburgh lochs that disappeared from the map, including Nor' Loch, where 'witch ducking' took place

Here we take a nostalgic look at some of Edinburgh’s lost lochs...

Did you know Edinburgh’s iconic Princes Street Gardens used to be occupied by the Nor’ Loch, or that for every hill in the Capital there was a loch? Indeed, Auld Reekie was once dominated by rugged hills, volcanic crags, and deep bodies of water. Tens of millions of years of intense volcanic activity followed by several thousand years of glacial erosion in the Lothians carved out a dramatic and picturesque landscape.

Some of Edinburgh’s most famous lost lochs include Canonmills Loch, the Burgh Loch, and the aforementioned Nor’ Loch, where more than 300 men and women were sentenced to be tried for wizardry and witchcraft – either in the loch itself or around its banks. Others – such as Duddingston Loch and Lochend Loch – still survive to this day, but they are now much smaller than they were back then.

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