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Granton Harbour

Granton Harbour, 2½ miles (4 km) to the north of the centre of Edinburgh, was begun in 1836 by Walter, the 5th Duke of Buccleuch (1806 - 84), on the estate of his house Caroline Park. The Duke had taken advice from lighthouse engineer Robert Stevenson (1772 - 1850) and the harbour opened in 1838, although work continued almost continuously until 1863, creating breakwaters and further wharves. Before the construction of the Forth Rail Bridge (1890), Granton Harbour provided the main link to Fife and the north. In 1850, the world's first train-ferry was instituted on this route, with railway carriages being conveyed by the paddle-steamer Leviathan to Burntisland. The complex series of ramps and platforms designed to load and unload the carriages and cope with the sizeable tidal range of the Firth of Forth were constructed by Sir Thomas Bouch (1822 - 90), later discredited for his role in the ill-fated first Tay Rail Bridge. Passenger and car ferry services continued from Granton until about the time of the construction of the Forth Road Bridge. A new coaling jetty was added in 1937.

At one time, Granton was the base for a sizeable fishing fleet, but today this is reduced to almost nothing. It was also for many years the base from which the Northern Lighthouse Board supplied its lighthouses. It remains home to the Royal Forth Yacht Club.


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