Port Edgar

Port Edgar as viewed from the Forth road bridge in 2010.

Port Edgar is a marina on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth, immediately west of the Forth Road Bridge and the town of Queensferry, in West Lothian. Originally a naval base, HMS Lochinvar,[1] Port Edgar is now a busy marina with a sailing school and 300 berths. The Edgar commemorated in the name is Edgar Aetheling, the brother of Queen Margaret (for whom Queensferry is named).[2]

Previously operated by Edinburgh Leisure, Port Edgar Marina Limited - a private investment company - took over management of the marina in April 2014. Part of the group's £1.5m development plans included a capital dredging project to alleviate concerns about harbour depth. Until then the failure of successive management structures to maintain harbour depths through dredging since the departure of the Royal Navy threatened activity at Port Edgar.

The Royal Navy

Bought by the Admiralty in 1916 as the site of a future Naval base,[3] the pier at Port Edgar had been regularly used by Royal Navy ships since the 1850s.

Shortly after its purchase, the wounded of the Battle of Jutland were landed at Port Edgar for the Royal Naval Hospital at Butlaw, Queensferry. The dead of the battle were buried in the local cemetery.

In 1917 the completed base was commissioned as HMS Columbine, a depot for Torpedo Boat Destroyers of the Grand Fleet. HMS Columbine and the naval hospital at Butlaw were closed in 1938.

In 1939, at the outbreak of the Second World War, Port Edgar was commissioned as HMS Lochinvar, a training establishment for the Royal Naval Patrol Service.

In 1943 HMS Lochinvar relocated to Granton Harbour just a few miles along the coast. Port Edgar became the home to HMS Hopetoun, a Combined Operations training centre for British and Allied navies training for the D-Day landings in France.

After the war, HMS Hopetoun closed and in 1946 HMS Lochinvar returned to Port Edgar. It was now home to the Royal Navy minesweepers clearing the Firth of Forth and the eastern coast of Britain of its wartime minefields.

In 1958 the Royal Navy Fishery Protection Squadron was moved to HMS Lochinvar. By 1960 the port also became the Navy's only minesweeping training establishment.

In 1975 HMS Lochinvar closed and all its operations moved across the Forth to HMS Caledonia in the rebuilt naval base at Rosyth.

Today Port Edgar is owned by Edinburgh City Council and is a marina for pleasure craft and a base for other watersports. It sits just west of the Forth Road Bridge, within sight of the 1890 Rail Bridge, and soon to be in the shadow of the new Queensferry Crossing. Port Edgar will sit amongst three major bridges, from three centuries.

In 1988 the Algerines Association unveiled a memorial at Port Edgar to the minesweepers and fishery protection vessels based at Port Edgar and Granton between 1939 and 1975.

See also


  1. "Cunningham information sheet". Royal Naval Museum. 2007-06-08. Retrieved 2007-06-08.
  2. Harris, Stuart (2002). The Place Names of Edinburgh: their Origins and History. London & Edinburgh: Steve Savage Publishers Ltd. ISBN 1904246060.
  3. "South Queensferry, Port Edgar Harbour". Canmore database. Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Retrieved 2009-07-03.
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Coordinates: 55°59′35″N 3°24′32″W / 55.993°N 3.409°W / 55.993; -3.409

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