Scientists at Historic Environment Scotland used advanced 3D imaging technology to explore the Fore Well, the primary source of water for the medieval castle which was cut deep into the volcanic rock around 700 years ago.
It first appeared in historic records in 1314, when it was deliberately blocked by Robert the Bruce’s troops as part of wider destruction of the castle to prevent it being used against them.
Then during the Lang Siege in 1573 it was completely blocked by falling masonry from the bombardment of David’s Tower and rendered unusable.
Rachel Pickering, HES Cultural Resources Advisor hailed the laser scanning, saying: “Very little survives of the medieval castle and it can be hard to understand or appreciate how the early castle would have looked.
“Exploration such as this helps us to look at the castle in a new light and will continue to help us reconstruct and bring to life the lesser known aspects of the castle’s past. ”
The Fore Well has previously been a source for archaeological evidence relating to the castle, with finds including a complete cannonball and fragments of several others, a brass button thought to be from a military uniform and a halfpenny dated 1795.
Alastair Rawlinson, Head of Digital Innovation and Learning with HES added: “As part of our wider project to digitally document our estate, these scans will help us to monitor the condition of the castle and plan future conservation work.”