The history of the Edinburgh vaults is surprisingly sketchy. As I look up Wikipedia, it is said The Edinburgh Vaults or South Bridge Vaults are a series of chambers formed in the nineteen arches of the South Bridge in Edinburgh, Scotland, which was completed in 1788. For around 30 years, the vaults were used to house taverns, cobblers and other tradesmen, and as storage space for illicit material, reportedly including the bodies of people killed by serial killers Burke and Hare for medical experiments. (Wikipedia)
Some historians hold the view that these vaults initially are housed businesses, which left in the 1700s due to the poor conditions. Since the industrial revolution begin, they became the home of poor people. Then they became the shelter of criminals. Many Prostitution, murders happen here. During the 1800s the residents abandoned the vaults and the whole place was sealed with rubble. No records were made, nobody remembered them or talked about them. It wasn’t until the 1980s that they were re-discovered by accident. How could this be? Could it be that they were sealed from the outside world with no record of their existence for a reason? To hide some terrible secret?
To take the video, my teammates and I just get into the vault with the help from the tour guide. I really can feel a trembling in the air. The deathly hush of centuries of pain and immense suffering entrenched within the stones that surrounded us. The unblinking presence of long-dead minds watching the world that had treated them so cruelly, waiting to exact thier revenge. But it just fit for our theme: the distance. You know what, this is the place that we will not usually go to, and we can really find some incredible and maybe uncomfortable stuffs inside such as the unexpected noise, and unexplaind blur when you take some video there( the blur appears in my videos). All of these things are just like the sound we generate through the radio that is random, unpredicted, and unexpected as well.
As a result, we choose the Banshee as our debut performance place since the vault is just under this place.
Nowadays, the vaults on the North Side of the Cowgate arch form a series of tunnels and vaults and are mainly used for ghost tours. The vaults on the South side of the Cowgate arch form a venue called, The Caves and The Rowantree, which hosts private events, weddings, private dining, live music, and the occasional club night. There are areas within The Caves that are the remains the buildings, of what was Adam Square, that were demolished to make way for the erection of the South Bridge. The original terracotta floor tiles, a hearth stone, and what remains of fireplace, were found in one of the rooms within The Caves whilst it was being excavated. In another room, within The Caves, a well was found.(Wikipedia)
During the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August, the vaults that make up The Caves and The Rowantree, along with several normally unused vaults, are transformed into a major festival venue hosting over 60 different shows a day.