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DUDDINGSTON - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer (1868)]
"DUDDINGSTON, a parish in the county of Edinburgh, Scotland. It contains the town of Portobello, and the villages of Joppa, Easter Duddingston, and Wester Duddingston, and the hamlets of Duddingston Mill and Duddingston Salt-Pans. It is bounded on the N. by the Firth of Forth, and on the other sides by the parishes of Inveresk, Liberton, Canongate, St. Cuthberts, and South Leith. It is very irregular in outline, and nearly the whole of the surface is fertile, well cultivated, and enclosed. Powburn and Braidburn here uniting, add greatly to the beauty of the pleasure-grounds of the Marquis of Abercorn.

On the S.E. side and underneath the bold precipices of Arthur's Seat, lies Duddingston Loch, 1¼ mile in circumference, a favourite resort of skaters. On the N.E. bank of the lake is Duddingston House, with its surrounding gardens and plantations. From an eminence near the parish church to the S. of Arthur's Seat a magnificent view is obtained to the S. and E. Coal abounds, and limestone and ironstone occur. Clay, available for the manufacture of stoneware and of crucibles, is found, and various sorts of marl, of great richness and in great plenty, have been found in Duddingston Loch.

The western part of the parish is traversed by the old Edinburgh and Dalkeith railway, and also near the shore by the Leith branch of that railway, and by the main line of the North British railway. The road from Edinburgh to Berwick also passes through it. The village of Easter Duddingston stands at the eastern angle of the parish, near the sea, and consists of a few cottages, inhabited by labourers. Wester Duddingston is situated on the N. side of Duddingston Loch. Prince Charles Stuart slept here on the night before the battle of Prestonpans.

This parish is in the presbytery of Edinburgh and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale, and in the patronage of the Marquis of Abercorn. The minister has a stipend of £314. The parish church is of great antiquity, being apparently Saxon. There are also in Portobello a chapel-of-ease, a Free church, an United Presbyterian church, an Episcopal church, a Congregational and a Roman Catholic chapel."

"JOPPA, a village in the parish of Duddingston, county Edinburgh, Scotland, 3 miles E. of Edinburgh. It is a station on the North British railway. The village is situated on the shore of the Forth. There are salt-works, and a quarry of freestone. A mineral spring attracts numerous visitors from the neighbouring retreat of Portobello."

"PORTO-BELLO, a quoad sacra parish, municipal and parliamentary borough in the parishes of Duddingston and South Leith, county Edinburgh, Scotland, 3 miles E. by N. of Edinburgh, of which it may be considered a marine suburb. It is a station on the North British railway. It is a place of recent origin and name, having previously formed part of the "Figget Lands", which, previous to the year 1763, were a mere waste, covered for the most part with furze or whirs, and were commonly let for 200 marks, Scots, to one of the Duddingston tenants.

Porto-Bello hut was the first house raised in the midst of the original waste about 1742, and derived its appellation from the Spanish American town of that name, at the capture of which its proprietor had been present as a sailor. The place grew rapidly into importance, and besides the ordinary houses, originally designed for the workmen engaged in the neighbouring brick, pottery, and tile works at Brickfield, a number of edifices sprung up, overlooking the Frith of Forth, for the accommodation of the numerous families who resorted here for sea-bathing, and for which the smoothness of the adjacent sandy beach, the purity of the atmosphere, and the propinquity of the great London road, rendered it particularly eligible.

The parish, which is only 1 mile in length by about half a mile in breadth, includes the village of Joppa. The soil is a mixture of clay and sand, originally barren, but converted by artificial means into very productive land, the greater part of which is now built over. A considerable number of the working population are employed in the adjacent collieries and salt-works. The town contains nearly 4,000 inhabitants, and includes a market-house, commercial bank, assembly rooms, baths; also extensive manufactories for soap, glass, and pottery, which last are situated on the Figget Burn, a small stream which falls into the Frith.

It is a coastguard station, and a creek to the port of Preston Pans. Since the passing of the Reform Act it is a contributory burgh to Leith. It is governed under the late Municipal Reform Act by a provost, two bailies, and nine common councillors. The parish is in the presbytery of Edinburgh and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale, and in the patronage of the male communicants. The minister has a stipend of £190. The church was built in 1815. There are several other churches and schools."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]


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