Portobello  Midlothian


In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Portobello like this:

Portobello, watering-place, parl. burgh, and quoad sacra par., partly in South Leith par. but chiefly in Duddingston par., Edinburghshire, on Firth of Forth, 3 miles E. of Edinburgh by rail - quoad sacra par., pop. 4504; parl. burgh, pop. 6794; town, pop. 6926; P.O., T.O., 3 Banks, 1 newspaper. ...

Portobello, according to tradition, took its name from a cottage erected there in 1742 by a sailor, who so named it from his having served at the capture of Porto-Bello in South America under Admiral Vernon; was a small vil. about 1765, when the first brick and tile work was established there, and attracted attention as a watering-place about the beginning of the present century; has fine sands, an esplanade nearly a mile long, and a promenade pier, and has brick-works, potteries, bottle-works, and a papermill. Portobello is one of the Leith Burghs, which return 1 member to Parliament.

Portobello through time

Portobello is now part of Edinburgh district. Click here for graphs and data of how Edinburgh has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Portobello itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Portobello, in Edinburgh and Midlothian | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 14th June 2024

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