Newhaven, Edinburgh

Newhaven, Edinburgh

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Newhaven is a district in the City of Edinburgh, Scotland, between Leith and Granton and about 2mi north of the city centre. Formerly a village and harbour on the Firth of Forth, it had a population of approximately 5,000 inhabitants at the 1991 census. Newhaven was designated a conservation area, one of 40 such areas in Edinburgh, in 1977.It has a very distinctive building form, typical of many Scottish fishing villages, with a 'forestair' leading to accommodation at first floor level. The lower ground floor was used for storing nets. More modern housing dating from the 1960s has replicated the style of these older buildings. Victoria Primary School, established in the 1840s, is a historic building in Newhaven Main Street and the oldest local council primary school still in use within the City of Edinburgh. It has a school roll of around 145 children.The new Western Harbour development extends north into the Firth of Forth from Newhaven. It is also the home of Next Generation Sports Centre (now named David Lloyd Newhaven Harbour), where the tennis player Sir Andy Murray regularly played as a youngster.HistoryThe village lies on the line of a prehistoric raised beach.It was part of North Leith Parish, being situated north of the Water of Leith which divided Leith into north and south parishes. It was once a thriving fishing village and a centre for shipbuilding. King James IV wanted to build a Scottish navy, but the existing port of Leith proved unsuitable for large warships. In 1504 he created "Newhavin" (meaning literally "new harbour") as a custom-built port, specifically for the construction of the warship Michael (popularly called the "Great Michael"). The ship was built between 1507 and 1511. The site of the original harbour is the current open space at Fishmarket Square (see photo above).

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