Kate Bowell

Jan 152019
 
This Powderhall Bronze sculpture is entitled ‘Going to the Beach’ by Vincent Butler (1933-2017).

This Powderhall Bronze sculpture is entitled ‘Going to the Beach’ by Vincent Butler (1933-2017).

Waterfront Avenue, Edinburgh EH5 1RS

Near this site, lots of industrial activity took place. AB Fleming introduced rosin oil in 1852, a by-product of refining turpentine from dead pine wood. Due to expansion, Fleming leased a large area of land from the Duke of Buccleuch and built a new factory. ‘Granton Oils’ became popular all over the world. Later on, the company manufactured inks for books, newspapers, fine half tone work, letterpress and lithography, and had the largest capacity anywhere in the world, operating globally. Next to AB Fleming was Caroline Park Foundry, started in 1880 by Robert Mushet, who was instrumental in perfecting a forerunner of today’s steels. The Granton Ice Company (1906) was also nearby and supplied the fishing industries of Granton and Newhaven, with premises originally located on the Middle Pier of Granton Harbour. A new factory was built near the site of Granton Castle. By 1952 it was the most modern factory of its kind in Britain. Water to make the ice came from Granton Burn’s, stored in a pond behind Caroline Park, and piped down in lead pipes which still run beneath Granton Castle’s walled garden.

A.B. Fleming & Co Scottish Printing Ink Factory

Advert for A.B. Fleming & Co Scottish Printing Ink Factory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Granton Ice Co.

Advert for The Granton Ice Co.

 

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Jan 152019
 
The wall, please walk along this stretch and view Social Bite village and Granton Gasworks

The wall, please walk along this stretch and view Social Bite village and Granton Gasworks

Path, Caroline Park Avenue, Edinburgh EH5 1QJ

With the building of Granton Harbour in the mid 1800s, the Duke of Buccleuch saw great financial opportunity with land either being leased or sold off for commercial and industrial development in the area. As a result, the Castle became neglected and by the mid 18th century it was already described as being in a ruinous state. Following the First World War, the Castle was bought in 1928 by a quarrying company Bain and Brown who demolished it to quarry the stone underneath it, but left sections of the wall in place. The Walled Garden survived and was bought by John Smith, market gardener and the business stayed in the family until 2005 when it was sold to the City of Edinburgh Council. Friends of Granton Castle Walled Garden are now working to ensure that this beautiful community asset is safeguarded for the future.

Granton Castle Wall Garden Illustration

The castle already lying in ruins in the 19th century

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The new Social Bite village in the shadows of the Gas Works

The new Social Bite village in the shadows of the Gas Works. Photo from the John Dickson collection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Detail of Granton Castle Walled Garden

Detail of Granton Castle Walled Garden. Photo from the Gina Fierlafijn Reddie collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jan 152019
 
The gates to Caroline House Park

The gates to Caroline House Park

Caroline Park Avenue, Edinburgh EH5 1QJ

Caroline Park House, originally known as Royston House, was built around 1585 by Andrew Logan. In 1683 it was bought by Sir George Mackenzie of Tarbat, and in 1739 it was sold to the 2nd Duke of Argyll who renamed it Caroline Park after his daughter who married the Earl of Dalkeith. Through this marriage the house and estate passed in 1793 to the Duke of Buccleuch, a pivotal event in Granton’s history. The house was altered in 1740s by the architect William Adam, father of Robert and John Adam. Subsequent tenants of the house have included Archibald Cockburn (father of Lord Cockburn, the conservationist who lamented the development of Granton Harbour) and Lady John Scott (1810-1900), who produced the standard version of the old Scottish song ‘Annie Laurie’. The house (and adjacent Granton Castle), increasingly disturbed by industrial activity, became less attractive as a formal residency. The Duke initially leased the house as an office to AB Fleming & Co Ltd. which owned the printing ink and chemical works located further west of the house. In 1872 the company bought the house and it remained their HQ until 1966 when the company moved to Corstorphine. Since 1988 the house is in private hands.

Engraving of Caroline Park

The elegant Caroline Park House

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Jan 152019
 
Once you arrive at the crossing, the Gas Works holder is on the left, Scottish HQ across the road on the left and the original station on the right

Once you arrive at the crossing, the Gas Works holder is on the left, Scottish HQ across the road on the left and the original station on the right

Waterfront Avenue, Edinburgh EH5 1JD

The Gas Works had railway networks with two types of lines serving goods and workers. An internal system of narrow gauge lines used steam locomotives and dealt with the ashes from the production process and with other waste and by-products. In addition, standard trains, part of the Caledonian Railway Granton Branch, operated from the Princes Street Station. This meant that coal deliveries could be taken into the Gas Works conveniently, and coke and other products sent away. The Granton Gas Works Station was opened on 27 February, 1903. This was a substantial station built to take the workers to and from the Gas Works. As there was no other form of transport to this area at this time, it is suspected that more than just the gas workers took advantage of the service.  The station was closed in 1942 by the LMS Railway as transport links to the area improved. During the World War II, the Gas Works was a target for bombing, although it was not actually hit.

Granton Gas Works Station about 1903

Granton Gas Works Station about 1903

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scottish Gas Works, Granton Works 0-4-0 2' 0" locomotive inside the Gas Works

Scottish Gas Works, Granton Works 0-4-0 2′ 0″ locomotive inside the Gas Works

 

 

 

 

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Jan 152019
 
The nearby location of Granton House (now demolished)

The nearby location of Granton House (now demolished)

Forth Quarter, Edinburgh EH5 1FH

Near this site once stood Granton House, a 24-room three-storey mansion with a balustraded roof, built by the Earl of Hopetoun in 1807 on the Duke of Buccleuch’s land as part of a 99-year lease. In 1883, the house became the property of Lord Gifford (1820 – 1887) the Scottish advocate and judge. Visitors to the house included Sir Walter Scott and Florence Nightingale who, following her visit, wrote to the family and said “I think Granton House the most poetic place I ever saw.” The house was purchased by the Edinburgh and Leith Corporations Gas Commissioners around the time that Granton Gas Works was built (opened in 1902), for use as the official residence of the Chief Engineer and Manager. The first Chief Engineer and Manager to occupy the house was Mr W. R. Herring. When Edinburgh and Leith amalgamated in 1920, the house passed to Edinburgh Corporation. From 1946 Edinburgh Corporation used the property to house homeless families following World War II. On 1 January 1954 it was destroyed in a disastrous fire and what was left demolished.

Lord Gifford

Adam Gifford, Lord Gifford (1820-1887)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Across Forthquarter Park

Walk along the foot path to get to your next destination

 

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Jan 152019
 
The entrance to Forthquarter park, the location of Granton Gas Works

The entrance to Forthquarter park, the location of Granton Gas Works

West Shore Road, Edinburgh EH5 1RH

In the 1890s, gas was being produced in Edinburgh, Leith, and Portobello and the sites were operating at full capacity. It was decided to build a substantial new single-site gasworks capable of future expansion. Following negotiation with the 6th Duke of Buccleuch, a 106¼ acre site at Granton was purchased for £124,000. An impressive structure, the most elegant gas holder in Scotland in terms of its external framing was erected as part of a £450,000 state-of-the-art coal gasworks between 1898 and 1903 under the direction of Dutch engineer W. R. Herring. Gas Holder Number 1, still standing today, had a maximum capacity of 7,000,000 cubic feet. Gas manufacturing stopped in 1987 and the building is now listed. The possibility of retaining this Gas Holder as an outstanding example of Scotland’s industrial heritage is under consideration.

Three gas holders at Granton Gas Works

The 3 separate gas holders at Granton Gasworks. Photo from the John Dickson collection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An aerial picture of Granton Gas Works showing the extent of the gasworks, the Caledonian Railway lines going into the site and the station building (bottom right corner)

An aerial picture of Granton Gas Works showing the extent of the gasworks, the Caledonian Railway lines going into the site and the station building (bottom right corner)

 

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Jan 152019
 
The original location of the quarry, now near-invisible

The original location of the quarry, now near-invisible

West Shore Road, Edinburgh EH5 1QT

This stretch of grassy fields (Gypsy Brae) was the location of Granton Sea Quarry.  The earliest recorded use of stone from this quarry is for Holyrood Palace (1532) and Leith Bulwark (1552-53). Later, the stone was used for Granton Harbour’s pier and breakwater, the Granton Hotel, and even the statue on top of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, London. The quarry, nearly 80 feet deep and over eight acres, collapsed and flooded after a storm in 1855. In 1884, it became the headquarters for the Scottish Marine Station for Scientific Research. This organisation carried out research on marine life in the quarry both from a floating platform and nearby buildings. The inconspicuous rock beds along the Forth shoreline are known as the Muirhouse ‘shrimp-bed’, in which geologists made a major discovery: a complete conodont, an eel-like creature whose teeth are the earliest found in the fossil record. The first trace fossils of the body of a conodont was unknowingly collected in the quarry in the 1920s. Starting in the 1980s, 11 more near-complete conodonts were found and identified, and then more again in 2013.

 

Mechanic's Magazine, Museum, Register, Journal & Gazette, Jan-June 1842, p 480

Extract from Mechanic’s Magazine, Museum, Register, Journal & Gazette, Jan-June 1842, p480

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scottish Marine Station for Scientific Research in the quarry

Scottish Marine Station for Scientific Research in the quarry

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Jan 152019
 
Granton Harbour wall in the distance and the outlying rock beds

Granton Harbour wall in the distance and the outlying rock beds

Walking Path, West Shore Road, Edinburgh EH5 1QG

Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882) followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and entered Edinburgh University to study medicine in 1825. Interested in natural history, he joined the Plinian Society, a University student club, and collected specimens along the shores of the Firth of Forth. The book The Berwick and Lothian Coasts, by Ian Campbell Hannah (1913), refers to Darwin and notes that, About this point the coast again becomes rocky, and Charles Darwin found it a convenient spot for the study of seaweed and shells.” In 1859, a little over two decades after he started university, Darwin’s book On the Origin of Species would be published and go on to become a worldwide bestseller.

Charles Darwin. Photo taken in 1868 by Julia Margaret Cameron

Charles Darwin. Photo taken by Julia Margaret Cameron during the Darwin family’s 1868 holiday in her Isle of Wight cottage

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Jan 152019
 
The entrance to the shore path

The entrance to the shore path

Walking Path, West Shore Road, Edinburgh EH5 1QG

On October 16th, 1939, the skies over Granton’s shoreline were filled with enemy bombers. In the first major raid against Britain of WWII, the German Luftwaffe sent twelve Junkers Ju88A-1s to intercept Royal Navy Battleship HMS Hood. Approaching from the west, the bomber crews saw they were too late – a battleship already safely docked in Rosyth Dockyard. Seeking alternative targets, the Junkers dived to attack shipping in the river below. With total surprise they dropped their bombs unopposed, narrowly missing HMS Edinburgh and HMS Southampton. Wave after wave of bombing harried the desperately zig-zagging ships. Then a shock… Spitfires! The raiders had been briefed there were no Spitfires in Scotland. Now two squadrons of them swarmed in defence. The bombers broke and fled for their lives, chased back down the river or across Edinburgh at rooftop height. Citizens dived for cover as machine guns rattled and bullet casings cascaded onto the streets. Two bombers were shot down into the Forth, their surviving crew rescued by local fishing boats. The 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron had claimed the first ever Spitfire victory. Edinburgh’s skies were safe, but disaster had only narrowly been averted.

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Jan 152019
 
The view from the shoreline towards the three bridges

The view from the shoreline towards the three bridges

Walking Path, West Shore Road, Edinburgh EH5 1QG

From this viewpoint, you get the first glimpses of the three bridges. The Forth Bridge is the first, and oldest, an iconic railway bridge and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Construction of the bridge began in 1882 and when it was opened on 4 March, 1890, it was the longest single cantilever bridge span in the world. It held that record until 1919 when the Quebec Bridge in Canada was completed. The second bridge is the Forth Road Bridge, a suspension bridge that opened in 1964 and, at the time, was the largest suspension bridge in the world outside of the United States. At its peak, the Forth Road Bridge carried 65,000 vehicles per day. On 5 September 2017, all bridge traffic was transferred to the Queensferry Crossing, the third bridge which stands parallel to the Forth Road Bridge. The new bridge is a cable-stayed structure, with three towers each 207 metres (679 ft) high. Including approaches, the overall length of the bridge is 2.7 kilometres (1.7 miles). Currently, it is the longest triple tower cable-stayed bridge in the world.

Three bridges built in three centuries

The three bridges, built in 3 different centuries: 19th, 20th and 21st. Photo from the John Dickson collection.

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