Collieston Harbour

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Canmore ID 20846
Site Number NK02NW 16
NGR NK 0406 2854
Former Region GRAMPIAN
Former District GORDON
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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Collieston Harbour, 1894. Aberdeenshire's only formal link to the sea, angle granite pier and quayed shore; notable for
'tunnel piercing foundations of break-water-pier near the present end of its walkway, evidently designed for the flushing-out of silt like those recommended by Smeaton (1770) at Dundee' (A Graham). In 1696, 36 fishermen lived in 'Collestowne', one of the largest fishing communities north of the Tay; by the 1880s, there were over 100 fishing for 'prodsing speldins' (dried haddock) or 'blauvin fishies' (whiting), yet the community moved, almost wholesale, c.1900, to Torry as a result of 'the stone', an incurable malady. The Lang Reel o'Collieston used to be danced by the whole community on Forvie Sands after each fisher wedding.

Taken from "Aberdeenshire: Donside and Strathbogie - An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Ian Shepherd, 2006. Published by the Rutland Press

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Archaeological Notes

NK02NW 16 040 285

(Location cited as NK 041 285). 19th century. Formed by an angled granite pier and the quayed shore of a bay.
J R Hume 1977.

This place is marked by Blaeu and Groome states (1901), without quoting an authority, that in the early 19th century it was famous for smuggling. A document of 1803 supports this reputation, recording fights between preventive officers and the armed crews of luggers here and in neighbouring creeks. Otherwise the place seems to be mentioned only in 1840 when it was described as one of the two fishing villages in Slains parish, the other being Old Castle. Some old cottages, all modernised, no doubt belong to this phase of its history.
The existing harbour-works date only from 1894, but they embody a feature of some interest in connexion with harbour-construction in general, in the shape of a tunnel piercing the foundations of the breakwater-pier near the present end of its walkway and evidently designed (like those recommended at Dundee by Smeaton) for the flushing-out of silt. What are probably the remains of another such structure appear at a point further out, where the walkway is ruinous.
A Graham 1979.
J Blaeu 1654; NSA 1845; F H Groome 1901; W E Clark 1921.

(Location cited as NK 041 285). Air photographs: AAS/94/18/G38/4 and 6-9.
NMRS, MS/712/21.

External Links

Aberdeenshire Historic Environment Record

Aberdeenshire Historic Environment Record

Books and References

Blaeu, J (1654) Theatrum Orbis Terrerum, sive Atlas Novus, Vol.5; Scotice et Hibernia, Amsterdam

Clark, V E (1921) The Port of Aberdeen, Aberdeen
Page(s): 136

Graham, A (1979a) 'Old harbours and landing places on the east coast of Scotland', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, vol.108
Page(s): 345 Held at RCAHMS J.6.4.GRA.P

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Charity SC026749