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Stonehaven Harbour

Located on the southeastern margin of the Aberdeenshire town of Stonehaven, this picturesque harbour has been a refuge for both fishermen and traders since early times. The town developed around the harbour, which today comprises Inner, Middle and Outer Basins. The earliest development took place on the north side, with an old quay replaced in 1688 and a pier built in 1700 by the 9th Earl Marischal, who lived at nearby Dunnottar Castle.

Owing to a sizeable sandstone stack, which constricted access, development did not take place on the southern side until the 19th C. Engineer Robert Stevenson (1772 - 1850) was commissioned to resolve the problem and, on his advice, the stack was blown up and removed and a south pier constructed around 1826. The harbour was further developed in the 1870s.

In the 18th C. the harbour exported grain, potatoes, whisky and cured fish, with coal and lime representing the main imports. Until the 20th C., Stonehaven was an important fishing port, with two hundred boats based here in its heyday of the 1890s. A huge seasonal industry of gutting, preserving and packing the fish grew up in association.

Today the use of the harbour is mostly recreational, with only a few inshore fishing boats still based here. A steel boom has been installed allowing the harbour to be closed in storm conditions.


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