The archaeological dig to excavate the harbour walls beneath the former fairground site on the promenade proved a popular attraction. Martin Cook, AOC Archaeology Group, said that hundreds of people walking past had watched the daily progress of the dig and the emergence of the exposed walls through the fence.
The archaeological works were commissioned by MNM Developments Ltd as part of the residential development of the site. The exposed walls outlined the area of the harbour and the finds of stoneware and creamware provided evidence of what was produced at the potteries in the area. It is believed that approximately another two metres of wall still lie under the ground, but the archaeologists were unable to dig deeper because they had reached the water table. The results of the excavation have been recorded to provide a permanent record of the dig.
Click here for Harbour Map
In his Annals of Duddingston and Portobello, William Baird writes ‘To meet the requirements of the growing trade of the place, and with an enterprise truly commendable, betokening his entire confidence in its ultimate success, Mr Jameson, about the year 1787-
Sections of the walls will be covered again by an underground car park, which will preserve them, and it is hoped that some of the stonework that has to be removed will be incorporated into the landscaping round the development. Even if we cannot see the walls, we now have evidence of their existence and where they lie, which is surely a positive outcome for the history of our community.
(A version of this article first appeared in the Portobello Reporter)
Click here to see information poster
Click here for photogallery