This photograph is a modern print from an original negative. It shows Leith’s Old Docks with the ship ‘Cockburn’ (pronounced Coburn) tied up in the foreground. The mouth of the Water of Leith forms the natural harbour that has operated as Edinburgh’s port since the fourteenth century. Nineteenth-century improvements, including the construction of the first deep water docks, caused the city’s bankruptcy in 1833. Yet the expansion continued and another five docks – enclosed areas of water used for loading, unloading, building and repairing ships – were built. In recent years redevelopment of the area has introduced residential, retail and leisure facilities. The disused Old Docks in this image were filled in and now form the car park of the Scottish Government’s offices.