Origin of Name: Possibly from the Anglian name Grand Tun meaning a farm or settlement by sand or shore.
Position: Firth of Forth to the north, Trinity to the east, West & East Pilton to the south and Muirhouse to the west. See map above.
Historical Notes: There are signs the Romans were in the area as pottery was discovered in 1931. Granton castle was first mentioned in 1479 when it was known as Granton House. It was owned by John Melville of Fife and stood just north west of present day Caroline Park House. In 1544 the English arrived at “Grantainne Cragge” at the time of the sacking of Edinburgh and sacked the castle on the way. By 1794 the castle was largely a ruin but wasn't demolished until 1928 when acquired by a firm of quarriers. In medieval times Granton was divided into the Baronies of Easter and Wester Granton with the Granton burn forming the boundary. In 1740 the Duke of Argyll, who owned the eastern part, bought the western part and was given the right to build a harbour. He didn't, but in 1837 the 5th Duke of Buccleuch financed the building of Granton harbour. It was a good move as it was a time when ships were changing from sail to steam and Leith and Newhaven harbours were not deep enough in low tide. With the coming of the railway to Granton in 1847 industry took off and soon a small township emerged. By 1870 it had a population of around 750 centred on what is now Granton Square.
There were also three farms in Granton – Granton Mains opposite present gas works, Royston Mains and Windlestawlee south of Boswall Avenue.
In the early 1920s housing began to be built, the first area was between Boswall Terrace and Boswall Drive which was mostly complete by 1925. By 1934 the eastern area was complete and Granton Crescent, Place and Wardieburn Terrace were being constructed. By 1940 the Royston Mains area was complete. The Granton Mills area in West Granton is a recent development.
Today: A large area of almost all types of housing and a lot of regeneration taking place. Waterfront Avenue is a huge American style boulevard with new flats and there is new housing around the harbour. There are plenty local shops and also a few large superstores. Some local industry survives and there is an industrial estate near the harbour. There are big plans being discussed for the area around Granton harbour but it remains to be seen how far that will go.
Did You Know: The Granton gas works opened in 1903 on 106.5 acres of what once was Wester Granton estate. It seved communities from Balerno to Joppa and a second gas holder was erected in 1928. It closed for gas production in 1987.
When the Duke of Argyll built the harbour he also planned a small town and held a competition to design the layout. The winner planned stately terraces by the sea with a main street running up the centre but after Granton Square was built little else was. But around the square there was a wool store, hotel, customs office and the Granton hotel built 1838 with ferry passengers in mind.
Quarrying had taken place near the shore for many years before Granton quarry opened in 1835. It was the second biggest in Edinburgh after Craigleith. It was damaged in a storm in 1855 and never reopened but there is a part of Granton in the centre of London as Nelson's statue at Trafalgar Square was made from stone quarried here.
http://www.edinburghnp.org.uk/community-councils/granton--district Granton & Pilton Community Council