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
 
This road is located on the original middle pier. Looking towards Leith, the west harbour is now used for leisure purposes

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.

 

Pilot Boats

Pilot Boats on the Forth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Granton Harbour

The development of Granton Harbour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walter Francis Montagu Douglas Scott, 5th Duke of Buccleuch, 7th Duke of Queensberry. (25 November 1806 – 16 April 1884. His Statue can be found on the Parliament Square in Edinburgh

Walter Francis Montagu Douglas Scott, 5th Duke of Buccleuch, 7th Duke of Queensberry (1806 – 1884) His statue can be seen on Parliament Square, Edinburgh

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