The story of the Town Below the Ground is one of the most disturbing in the annals of Scottish history. For almost 250 years, Edinburgh was surrounded by a giant defensive wall and, unable to expand its boundaries, it became the most densely populated city in Europe. When buildings could go no higher, people were forced to construct new edifices over the existing structures. An underground slum developed, where subterranean dwellers lived in darkness and abject poverty, ignored by chroniclers of the time. Edinburgh's population eventually came to believe that the city—out of sight and out of mind since its abandonment in the mid-19th century—had never been there at all. This is the first book to fully chronicle Edinburgh's Town Below the Ground—its history and structure, its inhabitants and the lives they led, the story of its rediscovery, the parts that still remain, and the tales that made it legendary.