The History of Leith

March 6, 2012

The Port that never was

When the Union canal was projected, towards the close of the last century (18th century), the plans for it, not unlike those of the Earl of Mar in 1728, included the continuation of it through the bed of the North Loch, past where a street was built, and actually called Canal Street. ” From thence it was proposed to conduct it to Greenside, in the area of which was an immense harbour; and this, again,
being connected by a broad canal with the sea, it was expected that by such means the New Town would be converted into a seaport, and the unhappy traders of Leith compelled either to abandon their traffic or remove within the precincts of their jealous rivals. Chimerical as this project may now appear, designs were furnished by experienced engineers, a map of the whole plan was engraved on a large scale, and no doubt our civic reformers rejoiced in the anticipation of surmounting the disadvantages of an inland position, and seeing the shipping of the chief ports of Europe crowding into the heart of their new capital:”

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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