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to it whenever the wind blows from harbour, and from thence its direction any point between south and west, and should be straight, so that the water with such winds the waves strike di- after it has passed the sluice may meet rectly against this bason, rebound on with no obstruction to retard its velothe inside of the pier, and occasion a city before it passes into the harbour great
swell in the harbour itself, which and begins its scour. is injurious to the passage-boats: I am There being only one harbour on therefore of opinion that it should be each side of the Forth, namely, Leith removed without delay.
on the south and Pettycur on the north, The other bason, although placed from whence the passage-boats usualin a proper situation, is of so confi- ly ply, great inconvenience and detenned a capacity, that, even when filled tion in crossing is often experienced. with water, it produces very little ef- If the wind blows strong and directly fect in scouring out the harbour ; but from the south or even some points to its bottom lies so high that it is very the westward or eastward of south, it seldom filled except when near the top is very difficult to make a passage of spring tides ; neap tides can scarce from Pettycur to Leith; and if the ly be said to go into it.
wind is from the north or several The pier itself not being under the points to the eastward or westward of controul of the Trustees, I need say north and blows fresh, it is equally nothing concerning it:-were it un- difficult to make a passage from Leith der their direction, I would advise it to Pettycur. The former I experiento be extended, and to have a head ced on the 28th of October ; the different from that it now has. But, wind blew fresh from about three points had there been no pier at all, a much westward of south ; after beating in better thing could have been made of the Firth for about three hours, we it than it now is. All that can be were obliged to return to Pettycur, done with the limited funds the Trus- and to save time I went round by the tees possess, is to make a bason of suf- Queensferry. While, therefore, there ficient capacity to scour away the muci is only one harbour on each side of the and sand as it is thrown in by the sea. Forth to which the passage-boats can For this
purpose I have to recommend ply, no certainty of a passage can be that a larger bason be made between had. This points out the necessity the inner end of the pier and the Inn. of some other places being chosen for This I propose to do by a straight this purpose. wall built in a line from the southern On the north side there is an excelextremity of the point of the rock that lent -situation at Burntisland, where juts out from the Toll-house and the the harbour is commodious, safe, and south west corner of the Inn, as re. of great extent. There is no better presented on the plan, having an area situation for a harbour in the Firth of of 2422 square yards, and its bottom Forth : nature has already done much, being sufficiently deep to take in at and a good deal has been done by art: least four feet depth of water at neap the water is deep; and a small sum of tides; this will give about eight feet money would render it fit for the enin depth at ordinary springs, which try or departure of passage-boats at all will form á scour, I trust, equal to the times of tide. purpose.
On the southern side nature has not The culvert which is to lead from been so bountiful ; but at Newhaven the bason to the harbour, should be a harbour might be made for no very of large dimensions ; not less than four large sum, sufficient for the reception feet wide: and the sluice should be and accommodation of
passage-boats placed near 'to the upper end of the at all times of tide. If, therefore, a
as to answer
proper pier was to be erected at Newha a harbour had better be constructed to ven, and also one at Burntisland, there the west of these works, and done in would be very few days in the year a complete and substantial manner, so that a boat could not make a passage.
the purpose of a passage Burntisland lyes as about 25 degrees boat harbour, even after the works of west of north, or due north by the Leith harbour are completed ; by such compass from Leith; and Newhaven a harbour the passage-boats will be at lyes about 7° west of south from Pet- liberty to ply to and from it, without tycur, by Downie's Chart : so that experiencing any interruption from the from one or other of these places a-pas- trade of Leith, or occasioning any insage would be almost certain. If, convenience to the ships that frequent therefore, funds could be raised to ac that harbour. complish these objects, it would be of It will appear from the design that great consequence to those who have
accompanies this report, that what I occasion to cross these ferries.
propose will be quite clear of their I have examined Newhaven, and works the harbour will consist of a am of opinion, an excellent harbour straight pier, extending from the shore for the ferry-boats may be constructed at Newhaven quite to low water spring there ; and for this
have made tides, being a distance of about 480 such a design as appears to me will af- fect, having a return-head of about ford the accommodation and facilities 100 feet in length. To this pier I wanted.
propose to give a regular declination Had the Magistrates of Edinburgh from high to low water-mark, with a been possessed of sufficient funds to depth of about 8 feet at its extremity, complete the great work they have al- by which means the passage-boats will ready begun, sufficient accommodation be enabled to come or depart, as may might have been had for the passage
best suit them. boats at Newhaven ; but as this is not The return-head to have a jetty of the case, and as from the extent of about 20 feet long placed a short disthe work it is not likely that it can be tance within the head, to prevent the accomplished for a very long time to lash of the waves from affecting the come, something suitable to the ac- vessels within the harbour. commodation of the ferry-boats ought I propose to remove the rubble in the interim to be made.
stones which now lie thickly scattered It has been suggested to me, that over the beach, and to lay them in a if a harbour were now to be made for form represented in the plan, which
boats at Newhaven, this will break the force of the waves in might be so done as to form a part of north westerly and westerly winds, the proposed works for Leith harbour, and thereby quiet the water within ; when they should be so extended; but and as the pier, if built the heighth after having given this proposition all necessary only for taking in or landthe consideration in my power, I am ing passengers, would afford no good of opinion it cannot be done. The shelter in northerly and north-easterly magnitude of their works-the depth winds, I propose that the outside wall of water intended the size of mate- should be carried up to a sufficient rials they will require, would occasion height to answer this purpose, with an expence
far beyond what is requir- counterforts within, by which means ed for a work of this sort, and there- they will not only have the advantage fore precludes all idea of rendering a of going into or out of it when it suits pier for the passage-boats of any use them, but they will be completely in the intended works for the harbour sheltered, and lye in safety, whatever of Leith. I am therefore of opinion, may be the weather. The expence
of this work will however be consider on that part of the subject, my object able, much greater than the present being only to point out what additionfunds will accomplish ; but as the al works will be requisite for the harwork cannot be done at all unless un bour of Burntisland to render it fit for der the sanction of an Act of Parlia- boats to enter or sail at all times of ment, I should apprehend that for tide, together with the probable exsuch an accommodation no one will ob- pence attending the establishing of - ject to the payment of an additional such works. toll ; and as by the certainty of the Burntisland is situated on a projectpassage the intercourse will encrease, ing head of land bounded on the east I would fain hope that the additional by a sandy bay lying between it and toll, requisite to lay on the passengers the Pettycur, from which the harbouris for the purpose of raising the funds, distant about two miles and a quarter. would not be a material addition to the This sandy bay is dry at low water; expence of the passage.
and near its western extremily is a That a harbour of less extent than point called the Sand-end, which exthat I have designed might be made tends about half a mile to the southto answer to a certain extent, I will not ward of Burntisland Harbour, and dis"pretend to deny, but one of less ac tant from it about a mile and a quarcommodation would but partially an ter, and bearing nearly two points to swer the object so inuch to be desired, the southward of east. At the east namely, a certain and safe passage at end of the island there is another point all times, unless in calms and in storms, called the Clay Mess, which stretches when it would not be safe for the out and forms a bay between and the boats to proceed to sea :--but this harbour, called the Kirk Bay. So would be but a half measure, and that, with the projecting land at the therefore unless it can be well done, Pettycur, the Sand-end, and the Claythe purpose could not be attained, and Ness, this harbour is completely shelprobably it would be better not to do tered from the seas brought up the The work at all, than to expend a con Forth by easterly winds. On the usiderable sum of money in the execu west, Burntisland is bounded by Ross's tion of an imperfect one.
Bay, which may be said to extend to
the Hall Craig near Aberdour, the GENTLEMEN,
point of which bears about 10° southYour most humble servant, ward of Burntisland Harbour, and (Signed) John RENNIE. distant from it nearly a mile and a London, Feb. 4. 1808.
half : about three miles farther to the
westward the Firth becomes narrow; Report by. Mr RENNIE, Civil Engi. and at the entrance of this narrow part,
neer, relative to the Improvements the island of Inchcolm lyes about half projosed to be made upon the Har
a mile from the shore; it is disiant bour of BURNT ISLAND.
from Burtisland harbour about S GENTLEMEN,
miles and a half, and bears from it Having in my report of the 4th nearly south west : thus, from the darFebruary. 1808 pointed out the ad- rowness of the Firth and the situation vantages that would attend the estab- of Inchcolm, no sea of any great force Jishing of two additional harbours or can come from westerly points. But landing places for the ferry-boats ply- it is said that the storms which affect ing between the south and north sides this harbour the most are from the of the Firth of Forth at the Leith south west: if so, this can only arise and Kinghorn ferry, I need not in from its exposure being more to the his report .enter into further details south west than to any other quarter
from this quarter.
except the south; but from this quar- "mouth. Possessing, therefore, só mater no heavy sea ean come, because ny local advantages, it is somewhat those winds must always act across remarkable that this has not long ere the current of tide: admitting, how now been made the principal resort ever, that seas from the south west for the ferry-boats in place of the Petare the worst, they do not materially tycur, which, in its present state, is affect the harbour, because there are one of the worst harbours in the Firth on each side of the entrance a project- of Forth. It might, no doubt, be ing ledge of rocks which run out for greatly improved; but its capability is about 130 yards, called the East and far short of Burntisland ; its situation, West Bush, which defend its mouth however, on the coast, renders it a
place of considerable importance as a The soundings from the harbour to harbour for the accommodation of the seaward encrease gradually to about passage-boats, and it is to be hoped four fathoms, and the water is equally that money for improving it will be deep to the westward to within a short obtained sooner or later. distance of Aberdour, and to the east The spring tides ebb from twenty ward nearly as far as the Sand-end, the to thirty yards without the piers of whole forming what is called the In- Burntisland harbour, and therefore in ner Roadstead, in which the anchor. its present state passage boats and oing ground is excellent : and there is the vessels cannot enter or sail from no sunk rock except that called the it at low water, nor indeed for a conKirk Bush, which is nearly in a line siderable time before and after it. between the harbour and the north What, therefore, is wanted is an exend of Inchkeith, and those near the tension of piers into water sufficiently Common rock. A little further to deep to float passage-boats at low waseaward the soundings encrease to six ter. For this purpose the two ledges fathoms, where large ships generally of rocks before mentioned, namely the ride ; the anchoring ground is equally East and West Bush, afford an excelgood, and this forms an excellent out- lent opportunity ; but, owing to their er roadstead. Good, however, as being upwards of 400 feet in length, this roadstead is said to be, vessels the expence will be considerable. The sometimes drag their anchors in strong distance between these ledges at their westerly winds; but no damage has extremity is about 200 feet, and the ever been known to arise therefrom.
soundings between them at low water High water at Burntisland at full spring rides is from seven to eight and change of the moon is at a quar- feet, and the decrease of depth from ter past tv0; and spring tides gene- thence to the present pier is gradual. rally rise from 18 to 19 feet; neaps No pier, therefore, that falls short of rise only from 7 to 8 feet. The the extremity of the East or West springs ebb in the Forth about six Bush would effect the desired object, hours and a half, and flow about five nor would it furnish shelter to passage hours and a half. The current in- boats and enable them to sail or enter shore begins to run to the westward the harbour at all times of tide. Ad. about two hours before low water, mitting, then, that an extent of this and the ebb begins to run to the east sort is necessary, a question naturally ward in-shore about the same time be- arises, namely, Whether, for the use. fore high water. The direction of of the passage-boats only, it will be the making tide at the harbour is from necessary to build such a pier on each the E S. E. and the ebbing tide son side of the entrance, i-c!'on both the the W. S. W. both of which may be West and East Bush? To this sit said to lead a vessel into the harbour- may be answered, that one pier only
might answer the purpose, though by arrive at Pettycur, and find the wind no means so completely as both would, and tide unfavourable; if in a carfor with one pier, passage-boats could riage or on horseback, they may get not lye near its extremity on the west to Burntisland in twenty minutes, and side in storms from westerly points, travellers on foot may perform it in nor on the east side in storms from less than three quarters of an hour. In easterly points ; but in either case like manner, should they come to must take the leeward side of the pier; Burntisland, and find the wind or tide now if a change of wind should sud- unfavourable, they may in as short 'a denly happen, which is sometimes the time get to the Pettycur. In most case, and that at low water, boats cases therefore they will be certain to could not safely be shifted from one have a passage from one or other of side to the other; and in southerly these harbours. winds, there would be some danger of If a passage boat harbour is made their being driven on the rocks east of at Newhaven, as recommended in my the pier, or forced into the beach at Report of February 1808, a new road the harbour's mouth. Such danger will be required between Leith and would seldom occur, but even the Newhaven. The sea has made such chance of its occurrence is to be avoided encroachment on that shore as to have if possible, and this could only be done entirely ruined the old road, which by building a pier on each side of the even in its best state was but very inentrance, which would render the har
different. bour quite secure at all times : --But If the Magistrales of Edinburgh as two piers would be equally benefi- shall extend their docks to Newhaven, cial to the trade as to the passage a straight road will be opened from boats, it might be reasonable to require South Leith by the new drawbridge some contribution towards the expence, parellel to the dock, which will be the but on this subject the trustees are best and shortest that can be made; better judges than me.
and if they make the new intended The present road between Burnt- street from the foot of Leith walk, aisland and Pettycur is very circuitous cross the Water of Leith to the new and hilly, and therefore if travellers docks, this will form an excellent were to arrive at either place, and find communication with Edinburgh. But the wind and tide unfavourable, they as the performance of these works dewould frequently not be able to reach pends on events which are pot entirethe other before these advantages ly under the controul of the Magis. might be over, and thus a passage trates, there is no certainty when they would be lost. It therefore seems to may
be undertaken. It may thereme absolutely necessary, if Burnt fore be advisable, in case the trustees island is to be made a station for pas- shall determine to execute the various sage boais, that a shorter and better works I have pointed out, that a surroad should be made between it vey for a road between Leith and and Pettycur than the present. Mr Newhaven should be made, and powers Ainslie has taken the survey of a new taken to execute the work, in case the road along the shore, which he finds other shall not be undertaken before practicable, and nearly on a level, and the completion of the new passagelittle longer than a straight line across boat harbour at Newhaven. I am, the sands. The distance of the two
GENTLEMEN, harbours by this road will only be a
Your most humble servant, bout two miles and a half, across the sands it is about two miles and a (Signed) JOHN RENNIE. quarter. If therefore travellers should London, March 13, 1809.