The Name

Portobello  was, until the eighteenth century, a desolate area of scrubland, where the Figgate Burn joined the Firth of Forth.  The area was known as Figgate Whins.  

It also appeared on early maps as Brickfield.  

The name, 'Portobello', was first used in the mid-eighteenth century.  This was the name given to a house built in the area by a retired sailor, George Hamilton, who had been part of Admiral Vernon's campaign against the Spaniards in 1739, which captured Puerto Bello. 

Portobello was created as a borough by Act of Parliament in 1833, and was absorbed into Edinburgh in 1896.

As part of the deal to absorb Portobello, Edinburgh Corporation built an indoor swimming pool (opened 1901) beside Portobello Promenade


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