Portobello and East Edinburgh
Places to visit historic site famous people and the Beach.
Portobello was created as a burgh by Act of Parliament in 1833, and became a part of Edinburgh in 1896.
It is a beach resort located three miles (5 km) to the east of the city centre of Edinburgh, with a promenade that stretches from Seafield on the outskirts of Leith to Joppa just outside Musselburgh. Portobello was at its peak as a resort in the late 19th century. Now Portobello Sailing and Rowing Club use the area for sailing kayaking and surfing. On the good summer days the beach is crowded with sun lovers and people out for a stroll along the promenade. Portobello grew from a small coastal village called Figgate where smugglers and highwaymen would hideout. The name Portobello has been recorded in manuscripts as far back as 1739.
A pottery factory has stood near the Figgate Burn in Portobello since 1770. These are the only surviving kilns of their kind in Scotland from a once thriving industry that goes back over 200 years. The pottery closed in 1972 and moved to a new factory in Crieff Perthshire.
THE GREAT LAFAYETTE
Sigmund Neuberger, was born on 25 February 1871 in Munich, Germany and died on 9 May 1911 and is buried in Edinburgh’s Piershill Graveyard. He was a famous illusionist and was the highest paid magician of his time. He became one of the highest-paid performers in Vaudeville. The Great Lafayette's affection was his dog Beauty a terrier given to him as a pup by fellow conjurer and admirer Harry Houdini. His dog is also buried in the graveyard.
The Graveyard opened in 1887 with a large Jewish burial section, including a memorial dedicated "to the memory of the Jewish soldiers of Edinburgh who gave their lives in the 1st World War. The cemetery was also the first in Scotland to permit an officially designated animal burial section.
SIR HARRY LAUDER
Harry Lauder was born in the cottage 3 Bridge Street Portobello in 1870. Sir Harry Lauder was a world wide musical entertainer and three of his most famous songs were Roamin in the Gloamin, I Love a Lassie and Keep right on to the end of the road. Sir Harry Lauder was the highest paid entertainer of his time and the first UK artist to sell one million records.
The pillars were originally in the garden of Argyle House Hope Lane Portobello. They are constructed from moulded blocks of Coade stone named after Eleanor Coade the inventor of the artificial stone which she called Litho di pyra (which is an ancient Greek word for stone twice fired). Her work can be seen all over the world and is on some of the most prominent buildings in the UK including Buckingham Palace. She died at the age of 98. Coade Stone is no longer used as Portland Cement was invented and the factory ceased trading in 1833. The Pillars can be seen in a garden of Portobello Promanade at the foot of John Street.
WILLIAM (NED) BARNIE
ENGLISH CHANNEL SWIMMER
1898 - 1983
William Barnie known as Ned was the first Scotsman to swim the English Channel. At the age of 54 Ned was also the oldest person to swim the English Channel a record he held for 28 years. He was also the first to swim the English Channel in both directions (on the 28 July 1951 from England to France and on the 16 August 1951 from France to England) within the same year. The house where he lived has a plaque in his honour and can be found in Straiton Place, Portobello.
Joppa was a major supplier of salt from the 1600s to 1953 when the last salter closed for business.
Salt was extracted from the sea by evaporation on large metal pans heating the salt water which evaporated to leave the salt. The oldest House in the area Rock Cottage which was used by the
salt workers. It was originally a lodge owned by a wealth land owner in the 1500s.
The Tower at Portobello was built in 1785 by Mr James Cunningham from stones window sills and lintels from properties that were knocked down to allow the South Bridge in Edinburgh to be built.
WILLIAM HENRY MILLER MAUSOLEUM
was born in Craigentinny, an area between Edinburgh and Portobello in 1789. He became a
Member of Parliament at the age of 40 for Newcastle-under-Lyme. William Miller was a book collector and opened a
library in Britwell Court, near Burnham, Buckinghamshire. The library was said to be one of the most important
private collections in Britain. The library and collection, on his death was passed down through the family until 1919,
at that time there were no family members left and the collection was broken up and sold. On his death he made a
provision in his will to have a mausoleum built on the family estate in Craigentinny Edinburgh. The mausoleum is the the most impressive I have seen and stands over 50 feet (30 meters) in height and goes under ground 40 feet as he
had a fear that grave robbers would steal his body. The Mausoleum is decorated with two bas-reliefs based on a
Roman Mausoleum. The William Henry Miller Mausoleum was completed in 1856 and stood in a meadow with no
other buildings nearby. It stood just near to the Portobello Road on the way to Edinburgh. He left instruction for the
bas-reliefs to depict the Overthrow of Pharaoh in the Red Sea and The Song of Moses and Miriam. These were
completed and attached to the mausoleum in 1868 and became known as the Craigentinny Marbles. Also within
the mausoleum are his parents William Miller and Martha Rawson or Miller, Sarah Marsh and Ellen Marsh all of
Craigentinny and Britwell Buckinghamshire
'THE SONG OF MOSES AND MIRIAM'
THE OVERTHROW OF PHARAOH IN THE RED SEA
THE MONUMENT WAS ERECTED TO THE MEMORY OF
WILLIAM HENRY MILLER
AND HIS PARENTS
WILLIAM MILLER AND MARTHA RAWSON OR MILLER
HERE ARE INTERRED
DIED 11th JANUARY 1827
WILLIAM HENRY MILLER
MP FOR NEWCASTLE-UNDER-LYME
BORN 13th FEBRUARY 1789 DIED 31st OCTOBER 1848
BORN 20th APRIL 1832 DIED AUGUST 6th AUGUST 1880
BORN 29th AUGUST 1801 DIED 4th NOVEMDER 1861
ALL OF CRAIGENTINNY AND BRITWELL
THE SITE WAS CONSECRATED ON 13th SEPTEMBER 1860
THE SCULPTURES WERE ADDED IN 1868
Saint Triduana was born in the Greece and was believed to have journeyed with Rule a holy man from the area of Patras in Greece in the 4th century AD. Rule deciding to stop the Romans from seizing the bones of Saint Andrew and took as many bones as he could and travelled as far from Greece as possible ending his journey in Scotland. Triduana settled in Scotland and due to her great beauty attracted the attentions of many men. One in particular was Nectan King of the Picts. Triduana to stop the King’s attention she is said to have torn out her own eyes and gave them to the King.
As Saint Triduana aged she settled in an area outside an area known as Eidyn later to be known as Edinburgh. Many people made pilgrimages to see her as she was believed to have the power to make the blind see. On her death in Restalrig a shrine was built in her honor and was intact until the reformation in the 1500. There are many stories of the blind praying to Saint Triduana and regaining their sight. St Margaret's well previously known as St Triduana's Well before the well was moved to its present position.
HIBERNIAN FOOTBALL CLUB (EASTER ROAD) EDINBURGH
Hibernian was founded by Irish football enthusiasts in 1875 and the name came from the Roman for Ireland (Hibernian). The East Meadows hosted the first Edinburgh Derby with Heart of Midlothian on Christmas day 1875. The present home of Hibernian opened in 1893. In 1955 Hibernian were the first British side to play in European competition.
Hibernian won the Scottish Cup in 1902 and 2015.
The Celtic football Club was also formed as a west of Scotland Hibernian but the name was changed as to stop any confusion when playing against each other.
MEADOWBANK SPORTS STADIUM
The Meadowbank Stadium was built for the Commonwealth Games in 1970 and was the first venue to hold the Commonwealth games on two occasions. The second games in 1986 were unsuccessful due to the British Governments support of apartheid in South Africa as many countries boycotted the games. There are many varied events held in Meadowbank Stadium throughout the year antiques fares, international competition and local club sports teams still make good use of the stadium. The Stadium was also used for football and the greatest track cyclist of all time, multiple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Chris Hoy started his cycling career here.
FIGGATE BURN POND AND PICNIC PARK
The Figgate Burn is where the original name of the area now known as Portobello was named. The history books show a place called Figgate Muir a moor land with a beach front, with a burn (The Figgate Burn) running from the Duddingston Loch. The name Portobello derived from a house built by an old sailor retired from the sea after a battle in a Caribbean sea port he had taken part in. Figgate was first mentioned in 1296 William Wallace met with troops on the Figgate Whins.
The Figgate Burn
Figgate Pond and Park
FIGGATE BURN POND AND PICNIC PARK
The Figgate park has a pond with a walkway over part of it and it is a great way to see the wild life that is in the park. There are also carved sculptures that can be found. A place for a day out, with plenty of space for the children and with picnic tables provided, bring your lunch and have a picnic.
Things to see around the Figgate Park, Wildlife, flowers and carvings