Jan 152019
Photograph of the road down Middle Pier with businesses and residential buildings along the left side

Middle Pier, now the location of businesses and further along residential development

Lochinvar Drive, Edinburgh EH5 1HF

In 1937, the harbour consisted of a Middle Pier (this road) protected on the east and west sides by two breakwaters, forming two harbours covering a total of 122 acres. Imports to the harbour were esparto grass, wood pulp and other paper manufacturing materials, motor spirit, asphalt, strawboards, and bog ore, while exports included coal, coke, and coke breeze. The coal came from the nearby Lothian coalfields, although a considerable load came from the Lanarkshire pits. Practically all the coke exported from the nearby Edinburgh Corporation Gas Works was shipped via Granton to Denmark, Sweden, and Germany. This building you can see ahead is the recently refurbished Gunpowder Store. This B-listed building is the sole surviving historic structure on the middle pier at Granton Harbour. The two-storey building, which was built with extra-thick walls to ensure it was safe to store gunpowder there, had a cast-iron hoist to allow it to unload ships docked in the harbour. Inside the warehouse, which was one of four match buildings created for the opening of the pier in 1842, there are the remains of railway tracks used by goods wagons.

Black and white photograph of a coke train coming down from Granton Gas Works via Breakwater Junction to Granton on 4 June, 1958.

Coke train coming down from Granton Gas Works via Breakwater Junction to Granton on 4 June, 1958.

Photograph of the restored Gun Powder building

The Gun Powder building, now restored. Photo from the John Dickson collection.

Jan 152019
Photograph overlooing the west harbour of Granton Harbour
This road is located on the original middle pier. Looking towards Leith, the west harbour is now used for leisure purposes

Lochinvar Drive, Edinburgh EH5 1GT

The idea of building a harbour at Granton is said to have been suggested in 1834 by R.W. Hamilton, the manager of the General Steam Navigation Company. A deep water port, unlike Leith harbour, which was tidal, would allow Edinburgh to import and export goods. The 5th Duke of Buccleuch, who owned land in the area, saw the opportunity to build this new harbour on part of the estate he owned, which included Caroline Park House. Robert Stevenson, the lighthouse engineer and grandfather of Robert Louis Stevenson, advised on the harbour’s design and it was built using stone from the Granton Sea Quarry. Construction was completed in 1863, although part of the harbour, the Central Pier, was opened much earlier on 28 June 1838, the day of Queen Victoria’s Coronation.

Color photograph of pilot boats on the Forth
Pilot Boats on the Forth
Vintage map of Granton Harbour and the surrounding neighbourhood
The development of Granton Harbour
Sepia photograph of Walter Francis Montagu Douglas Scott, 5th Duke of Buccleuch, 7th Duke of Queensberry
Colorful painting of two boats in Granton Harbour by Jenny Haslam
Red, yellow, and turquoise abstract illustration of boats in Granton Harbour by Louise Montgomery
Boats at Granton Harbour by Louise Montgomery