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Cramond

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Cramond, a village in the NW corner of Edinburghshire, and a parish partly also in Linlithgowshire. The village is prettily situated on the Firth of Forth, at the E side of the mouth of the river Almond, 5 miles S of Aberdour, 3 WNW of Craigleith station on the Leith branch of the Caledonian, and 5 WNW of Edinburgh, with which it communicates four times a day by omnibus. Its name in Celtic signifies ` the fort upon the Almond;' and it occupies the site of an important Roman station, which was connected by a fine military way with the great English Watling Street and with Antoninus' Wall, and which has yielded coins of eleven emperors, three altars, a pavement, and other Roman remains. From 1628 to 1730 it gave the title of Baron to the family of Richardson. At it are a post office, boys' and girls' schools, and the parish church. The parish, containing also the seaport of Granton, the villages of Davidson's Mains and Cramond Bridge, and a small part of Leith burgh, is bounded N by the Firth of Forth, E by St Cuthberts, S by Corstorphine, SW by Kirkliston, and W by Dalmeny. Its greatest length, from E to W, is 4a, or from ENE to WSW 57/5, miles; its greatest breadth, from N to S, is 2 miles; and its area is 6662 acres, of which 704¾ are foreshore, and 42¼ are water, whilst 1185 belong to Linlithgowshire. Cramond Island, ¾ mile NNE of the village, may be reached at low water on foot, and, measuring 3 by 1½ furlongs, affords pasturage for a few sheep; 1¼ mile further is another still smaller basaltic islet, Inch Mickery. The shore line, 5 miles long, is fringed at places with low beds of mussel-mantled rocks, and backed by a terrace, marking the former lower level of the land; the walk along it from Granton to Cramond village is one of the pleasantest round Edinburgh. The Almond winds 33/8 miles east-north-eastward and north-north-eastward to the Firth, roughly tracing all the Linlithgowshire boundary; from Craigiehall onward its banks are finely wooded. The surface, though undulating, nowhere much exceeds 200 feet above sea-level, except in the S, which includes the northern slopes, but not the tower-crowned summit (520 feet) of fir-clad Corstorphine Hill. The whole, however, is so richly adorned with mansions and parks, woods and well-cultivated fields, as everywhere to present a charming aspect. The trees include the four splendid sycamores of Braehead, Cammo, Cramond House, and Craigiehall, which, with respective height of 101,75,89, and 70 feet, girth 125/6, 181/8, 18½, and 161/8 feet at 1 foot from the ground; and Cramond House has also a beech and an oak, 85 and 60 feet high, and 261/8 and 10 feet in circumference. The rocks belong mainly to the Calciferous Limestone series, but diorite intrudes on Corstorphine Hill, and basalt at five different localities-on the coast, at the Almond's mouth, and on its banks higher up. Clay ironstone has been raised here by the Carron Company; and a mineral spring, in the grounds of Barnton, as Marchfield Spa enjoyed once some medicinal celebrity. The soil is various, but on the whole is good. Oyster and other fisheries have greatly declined in value, but employment is given by Granton's industrial establishments, by the ink and chemical works of Caroline Park, by the British and Oriental Ship Coating Company, and by Cramond Iron Company, which dates from 1771. Families formerly connected with this parish were those of Hope of Grantoun, Ramsay of Barnton, Howison of Braehead, Adamson of Craigcrook, Inglis of Cramond, Argyll, and Balmerino: amongst its illustrious natives or residents were John Law of Lauriston (1671-1729), projector of the Mississippi scheme; Geo. Cleghorn (1716-89), professor of anatomy in Dublin University; Jas. Hamilton, M.D. (1749-1835); John Philip Wood (1760-1838), antiquary; Archibald Constable (1775-1827), the celebrated publisher; his son and biographer, Thomas Constable (1812-81); Scott's darling, Marjorie Fleming (1803-11); Francis Lord Jeffrey (1773-1850), the famous critic; and Andrew Lord Rutherford (1791-1851), an eminent judge of session. At Marchfield, too, the late William Sharpe of Hoddam bred Martha Lynn, the dam of Voltigeur, from whom all the best racing blood in England is descended. Cramond House, a little eastward from the village, is a handsome and commodious mansion, founded about 1680, and greatly enlarged in 1772; a square three-storied tower to the NW is the only remains of a 15th century palace of the Bishops of Dunkeld. Its present owner, successor of the Inglises, is Lieut.-Col. John Cornelius Craigie-Halkett (b. 1830; suc. 1877), who holds 637 acres in Midlothian, valued at £2520 per annum. Other mansions are Barnton, Braehead, Broomfield, CraigCrook, Drylaw, Lauriston, Muirhouse, Cammo or New Saughton, and Silverknowes; and 10 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 7 of between £100 and £500,7 of from £50 to £100, and 23 of from £20 to £50. Cramond is in the presbytery of Edinburgh and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; the living is worth £480. The cruciform parish church, originally dedicated to St Columba, was rebuilt in 1656, and, as enlarged in 1701 and 1811, contains 958 sittings. Other places of worship are noticed under Granton and Davidson's Mains; and five public schools-Cramond, Cramond female, Davidson's Mains, Granton mixed and infant, and Lennie-with respective accommodation for 164,70,123,211, and 62 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 86,58,98,209, and 49, and grants of £67,6s., £46,5s., £67,9s., £163,4s. 6d., and £36,12s. Valuation (1860) £23,078, (1882) £38,606, of which £983 belonged to the Linlithgowshire section, and £3600 was for railways, waterworks, ' Pop. (1801) 1411, (1831) 1984, (1 861) 2695, (1871) 3020, (1881) 2945, of whom 84 belonged to Linlithgowshire.—Ord. Sur., sh. 32,1857. See John P. Wood's Ancient and Modern State of the Parish of Cramond (Edinb. 1794).

Alaterva, the quondam Roman station on the site of Cramond village, Edinburghshire.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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