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Edinburgh, Granton Harbour, Middle Pier And Pilot House

Office (Period Unassigned), Pier (Period Unassigned), Slipway(S) (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Edinburgh, Granton Harbour, Middle Pier And Pilot House

Classification Office (Period Unassigned), Pier (Period Unassigned), Slipway(S) (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 52052

Site Number NT27NW 28.01

NGR NT 23880 77683

NGR Description NT 23880 77683 to NT 23752 77135

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2019.

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Digital Images

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Edinburgh, City Of
  • Parish Edinburgh (Edinburgh, City Of)
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District City Of Edinburgh
  • Former County Midlothian

Archaeology Notes

NT27NW 28.01 23880 77683 to 23752 77135

Harbour Master's Office [NAT] (at NT 2386 7767)

Coal Conveyor [NAT] (at NT 2382 7764)

Red Light (Fixed) [NAT] (at NT 2383 7765)

OS 1:1250 map, 1967.

Slip [NAT] (at NT 2378 7733)

Landing Slip [NAT] (at NT 2378 7725)

OS 1:1250 map, 1971.

Middle Pier [NAT] (at NT 2374 7748)

Landing Slip [NAT] (at NT 2375 7740)

Landing Slip [NAT] (at NT 2374 7724)

OS 1:10,000 map, 1987.

For lighthouse (beacon) at NT 2383 7766, railway station at NT 2377 7727, and building at NT 2377 7735, see NT27NW 28.06, NT27NW 28.07, NT27NW 28.08 respectively.

For predecessor Pilot Station (within the Entrance Basin at Leith Docks), see NT27NE 57.46.

Engineers: Walker & Burgess 1835-45.

(Undated) information in NMRS.

Granton Harbour is still in use and is well maintained. The south side of the western Harbour appears to be reclaimed by dumping waste material. There appears to be some recent dumping and erosion of this area.

Site recorded by GUARD during the Coastal Assessment Survey for Historic Scotland, 'The Firth of Forth from Dunbar to the Coast of Fife' 26th February 1996.

An archaeological watching brief was carried out in this area ahead of a proposed housing development on reclaimed land between the western Breakwater and Middle Pier. A pipe trench was excavated along a section of the pier. The pier was found to have been composed of a top layer of tarmac with 0.3m of hardcore, above 0.35m of broken stone. Beneath this was rubble, made up of large stone blocks up to 1.5m across, which appear to have been quarried. A length of trench running E-W cut through the western edge of Middle Pier, exposing a 1.8m length of ashlar block work. This was located around 0.5m below the current ground surface. The size of the blocks varied between 1.5m x 1.2m x 0.5m and 1.2m x 1m x 0.5m. The uppermost stones were held together with large iron straps. The lower courses were held together by basalt keystones.

Two 3m x 5m sondages were excavated against the W side of Middle Pier in order to locate a low water landing slip which is depicted on the 1st edition OS map, and to see if the construction methods were the same as those deployed on the low water landing slip on the eastern side of Middle Pier. The construction was of stepped ashlar blocks, which was the same as the eastern side slip. Later metal shuttering had been erected along the pier and held in place with concrete.

An area of the western side of Middle Pier, around 25m x 8m x 0.9m deep, was excavated. The surface of the pier was made up of stone sets, 0.3m x 0.15m x 0.2m deep, which sat directly on top of rubble. The edge of Middle Pier was exposed, revealing that the edge was constructed of a single line of ashlar blocks, 1.3m x 1.3m x 0.6m, with an inner face of much smaller stones.

A service trench excavated at the junction between Middle Pier and Lower Granton Road exposed a 1.8m length of tramline. It sat on reinforced concrete sleepers, which were positioned 0.65m apart. The tramline appears to be mid 20th century in date.

M Kirby 2005.

NT 2378 7756 A watching brief was undertaken at Granton Harbour between November 2004 and April 2005. Two sondages measuring 3 x 5m were excavated by machine in reclaimed ground against the W edge of Middle Pier (NT27NW 28). This was done in order to locate a low water landing slip depicted on the 1st edition OS map, and to see if the construction methods used mirrored the low water landing slip visible on the E side of Middle Pier.

The stepped construction of the W side of Middle Pier appeared to mirror the corresponding sections on the E side. The eastern low water landing slip was surfaced with stone setts, whereas on the western side areas of concrete were observed. These results accord well with early 19th-century construction drawings of the harbour.

Archive to be deposited in NMRS.

Sponsor: Gregor Shore plc.

M Cressey 2005.


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