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Peterhead Harbour, Harbour Of Refuge

Harbour (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Peterhead Harbour, Harbour Of Refuge

Classification Harbour (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Peterhead Bay

Canmore ID 278079

Site Number NK14NW 128.10

NGR NK 13144 45378

NGR Description Centred NK 13144 45378

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Aberdeenshire
  • Parish Peterhead
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District Banff And Buchan
  • Former County Aberdeenshire

Archaeology Notes

NK14NW 128.10 centred 13144 45378

The 'Harbour of Refuge' that is often mentioned at Peterhead is to be equated with the enclosed expanse of Peterhead Bay. This extensive area of water is protected by massive artifiucial breakwaters, offers good anchorage conditions, and has no quayage or other discharge facilitities.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 10 January 2006.


Publication Account (2007)

Harbour of Refuge, Peterhead Bay

This harbour, an area of approximately 300 acres in Peterhead bay, is enclosed by two breakwaters. The north breakwater, constructed 1912–56, is approximately 1500 ft long. It is founded on levelled rock and constructed of 40 ton precast concrete blocks laid in horizontal courses.

The south breakwater, constructed from 1892–1912, is approximately 2700 ft long. It is of similar construction but was founded on a shallow tipped stone mound. Convict labour from nearby Peterhead prison was used as direct labour during construction.

Construction ceased during winter months and, to prevent damage by rough seas, unfinished work was secured by 2 in. diameter steel clamps. These were removable and were re-used at the end of each building

season. This did not prevent damage to partially constructed work and, in thewinter of 1928, a stormdisplaced a 34 ft long section of wall by 2 in. It was calculated that a force of 2 tons sq. ft was necessary to cause the displacement. The engineer for the project was Sir John Coode.

R Paxton and J Shipway, 2007.

Reproduced from 'Civil Engineering heritage: Scotland - Highlands and Islands' with kind permission from Thomas Telford Publishers.


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