Cramond – A Village with a Long History

As you stand gazing at this quaint village on the River Almond on the eastern side entering the Firth of Forth, you will notice the natural harbor as well as the older houses that lie along the wharf. You may wonder about its past and how it came to be as it is seen and known today: as the principle suburb of Edinburgh, Scotland. It is a wonder to find out that the little village of Cramond has reinvented itself on many occasions until what you see presently. Thus its only true link to the past is its continued connection with the sea.

If you were to page through a history book dedicated to Cramond in Scotland, you would discover that the village is almost two thousand years old. Cramond started life sometime during the Roman invasion. It was here that the Antonine wall was built between Forth and Clyde and it was here, just three years later, that the Romans built the massive fort that was to be used as their main port. This port was used as a docking place for Roman armies as well as for the protection of the Southern shore.

Since then Cramond has been slowly reinvented many times. The ‘Cramond Kirk’ or ‘Church of Scotland’ was built on a portion of the remaining foundations of that original Roman fort in 1656. It was not just the foundations that were incorporated into the structure, but also an old tower that was built sometime during the 1400’s.

During the 18th century and early 19th century, Cramond became a thriving Industrial village. Its success in this regard was largely due to the exploitation of the River Almond as it flowed into the Forth. This continuous supply of fresh water enabled the town to acquire two steel furnaces, three iron forges and three rolling mills that were water powered. The steel produced here was exported to places as far off as India. Unfortunately this industrial boom did not last and by 1860, the mills had been converted into saw mills. These also didn’t last long and Cramond saw the closure of all major industrial mills in the 1900’s.

Since the 1800’s Cramond has been one of the most sought-after residential suburbs in Edinburgh. Its delightful character is felt throughout the village and the lovely harbor at the mouth of the river with its tranquil beaches and varied boating facilities only add to the village. If you feel like an adventure and wish to take a walk across to Cramond Island, you will find that the journey makes for a most pleasant excursion. However you should be aware that the walk is easiest when the tide goes out. There are a number of signs warning you about this and you would definitely want to make sure that you make it home before the tide comes back in to avoid being stranded on the island!

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