Cromarty Archive

Cromarty Harbour - c1905

Date Added: 18 March 2005 Contributor: Plexus Media Year: 1905 Picture No: 1086 view static version

One of a collection of 'Magic Lantern' slides bought using advertising money from this site, this photo shows the inner basin of the harbour, including a number of features very different from today.

At the left hand side of the picture, the basement of the current boat club building can be seen. [picture #285] It's likely that it was an icehouse, but I had no idea that it predated the tower itself.

Large timber buildings in the Coastguard compound which no longer exist can be seen to the left of the lighthouse. A view of these from the other side can be seen in picture #50.

Piles of timber are stacked at the back of the harbour, and in fact, if you look closely you can see someone moving a post from one pile to another. Use the Zoomify feature for a close up.

The building behind the worker is the Girnal - this was knocked down in the 1960s as part of an effort to clean up the town prior to the Queen's visit in 1964.

Albums: Buildings, The Sea

Groups: Magic Lantern Pics


The stem of the largest boat is pointing towards the WEIGH BRIDGE building where, when the coal-boats came in, weighed the horse carts, before loading, then they returned with an average of 2 ton, which was totalled by subtraction, a chit given. Then whoever prebooked a load had it dumped at their door.

The building remained in operation for a while, after the Girnal was demolished.

Horse and carts were still used well into the 1950's. Latterly a 'grab' was hired from Burghead to empty the coal-boats, lorries, tractors & bogies replacing the horses.
Comment left on 18 March 2005 at 23:51 by CLem Watson
The basement of the "Lookout Tower" was built by the Royal Navy, probably prior to or during WWI. The walls are solid concrete and almost 1 meter thick. From the large amount wires coming into the room through a six inch hole, found when the Cromarty Boat Club refurbished the tower, it could have served as an electrical generating station. Comment left on 30 April 2005 at 18:58 by Alex Davidson
For a short time the base of the 'Lookout Tower' was used as a 'field hospital' at the time of the pre-training for the D-day landings when the soldiers used to cross at Chanonry, march to Cromarty, then cross to Nigg, and march on to Inver, to once again embark on to landing craft. It was also used in a similar role when the Polish Army occupied the Camp (Nissen Huts) on the Links. It was a single bed, plus 2 to 3 medics, from memory. Comment left on 30 April 2005 at 19:59 by Clem Watson
My great uncle John Watson of 70, Big Vennel drowned on 15 March 1905, half a mile north of the harbour. He was born 1875 and was the son of John Watson and Catherine Finlayson.

His wife Margaret Finlayson, born 1877, daughter of John Finlayson and Catherine Watson of Fishertown, died on 10 Aug 1904, lived at Shore Street at this time. They lived at 15, Forsyth Place in 1901.

Her father John Finlayson's parents were - John Finlayson and Jane Watson and her mothers parents were Isaac Watson and Margaret Hogg. Margaret had a brother Isaac Finlayson.
Comment left on 04 January 2007 at 23:19 by Min Walker nee Davidson
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