Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

Edinburgh, Portobello, Pipe Street, Thistle Pottery, Kilns

Pottery Kiln(S) (20th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh, Portobello, Pipe Street, Thistle Pottery, Kilns

Classification Pottery Kiln(S) (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Portobello Harbour

Canmore ID 53825

Site Number NT37SW 172.01

NGR NT 30451 74262

NGR Description NT 30451 74262 and NT 30460 74256

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2022.

Toggle Aerial | View on large map

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NT 3047 7424 (centre) An evaluation was undertaken in October and November 2005 to locate and assess part of Portobello Harbour wall structure and recover pottery from deposits of kiln waste used for land reclamation, prior to a proposed development adjacent to the evaluation area.

The evaluation site is located on open ground on the SE side of two restored Scheduled pottery kilns (NT37SW 172.01) on the former site of the Waverley Pottery. Based on cartographic evidence, two trenches were located so as to overlie the projected line of the E wall of Portobello Harbour channel. The two trenches were handexcavated, one reaching a maximum sondage depth of 2.2m and then probed with an auger for a further 0.33m.

Excavation revealed that, below topsoil, waste from the pottery had been dumped to infill and level the ground. The dumps comprised clinker, ash, cinders, bricks and cobbles as well as silt, gravel, sand and clay. Pottery sherds recovered from the dumping date from the early to late 19th century. Tip lines formed by the dumping descended to the NW, tentatively indicating dumping over the E quayside and into the channel between the harbour walls.

The pottery waste dumping overlay loose sand containing early 19th-century pottery, large pantile fragments, and cobbles. No structural evidence of the harbour was located. It was concluded that the E harbour wall may lie below trench depth, be located further to the E (perhaps under Pipe Lane), or the stonework has been robbed out at this location.

Archive to be deposited in NMRS.

Sponsor: Lothian Amusements Ltd.

R Cachart 2005.

Architecture Notes

NT37SW 172.01 30451 74262 and 30460 74256


Standing Building Recording (10 December 2007 - 29 January 2014)

Addyman Archaeology were involved in the long process of rebuilding the pottery Kiln (dated to1909) at the former pottery of A W Buchan & Co. Pottery on Harbour Road, Portobello these represented the last surviving upstanding remnants of the pottery industry in Scotland. The kilns upper parts collapsed during repointing works in 2006.

As part of the rebuilding works the surviving structure was surveyed in plan and elevation and the construction of the pottery kiln investigated in 2007. This provided an archaeological record of the kiln as well as informing the reconstruction efforts.

In 2014 the kiln was finally rebuilt and a small watching brief was undertaken to monitor the insertion of a water down pipe from the roof through an existing wall flue and to the exterior.

Information from Addyman Archaeology


MyCanmore Image Contributions

Contribute an Image

MyCanmore Text Contributions