Portobello is a beach resort located three miles to the east of the city centre of Edinburgh, along the coast of the Firth of Forth.
The area was originally known as Figgate Muir, an expanse of moorland through which the Figgate Burn flowed from Duddingston Loch to the sea, with a broad sandy beach on the Firth of Forth.
The name Figgate was thought to come from the Saxon term for "cow's ditch", and the land was used as pasture by the monks of Holyrood Abbey. In 1296 William Wallace mustered forces on the moor in a campaign that led to the Battle of Dunbar, and in 1650 the moor was the supposed scene of a secret meeting between Oliver Cromwell and Scottish leaders.
A report from 1661 describes a race in which twelve browster-wives ran from the Burn (recorded as the Thicket Burn) to the top of Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh.
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