From Academic Kids

Cramond is a village built on the east side of the River Almond where it enters the Firth of Forth forming a natural harbour, now a suburb of Edinburgh. Excavations have revealed a Roman past and, as of 2004, the oldest human site in Scotland.

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Cramond Island and the walkway seen from the shore.

Cramond today

The older houses along the wharf are typical of traditional south-east Scottish vernacular architecture, constructed in stone with harling white lime render finish, with facing stone window and door surrounds and crow-step gables, roofed with orangey-red clay pantiles imported from the Netherlands. A ruined water mill lies further up the Almond along a quiet walk past a yacht club and sailing boats moored in the river.To the east a sand beach and waterfront esplanade provides a popular walk to Silverknowes and Granton. On the other side of the Almond, (once accessible by a rowing-boat ferry) the Dalmeny Estate has a pleasant walk through Dalmeny Woods along the shore of the Firth of Forth.

Offshore, Cramond Island has WW II fortifications and is linked to land by a line of concrete pyramids constructed as a submarine defence boom. At certain low tides sand extends to the island, tempting visitors and sometimes car drivers, though occasionally some are stranded by the incoming tide.


Cramond developed slowly over the centuries, with Cramond Kirk being founded in 1656. After a brief period spent as an industrial village in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, by the late 19th century it become a desirable suburb of Edinburgh, which it remains to this day.

Roman period

In 1997 the Cramond Lioness was uncovered in the harbour mud, and found to be a statue of a lioness devouring a hapless male figure, probably one of a pair at a military commander's tomb. Excavations onshore revealed a Roman fort of the Antonine wall period, circa 142. Pottery and coins of later date indicate that (probably after being abandoned for a period) the fort and harbour were used as a base for the army and navy of the Emperor Severus in his early 3rd century campaigns.

Mesolithic period

Excavations of the Roman site uncovered finds including numerous burnt hazelnut shells which were radiocarbon dated to around 8500 BC, indicating a settlement significantly older than any previous human occupation finds in Scotland. Pits and stakeholes suggest a hunter-gatherer encampment, and microlith stone tools made at the site predate finds of similar style in England. Although no bones or shells had survived the acid soil, the carbonised hazelnut shells indicate cooking in a similar way to finds at later Mesolithic period sites including Britain's oldest house at Howick in Northumberland, dated to 7600 BC


External Link

  • Tide Times (

Note that these are the tide times of Leith, for Cramond simply add 4 Minutes. It is safe to cross over to Cramond Island between 2 hours before and 2 hours after low tide.

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