Fraserburgh Castle was built as a town house by Alexander
Fraser, 8th Laird of Philorth in 1572. Gradually other
buildings were added, however none of these remain today.
Inside the keep which was used to house Kinnaird Head
Lighthouse, there is still some evidence of the
of the building. This is further shown by the bosses
in the Wine Tower. The castle fell into disrepair and
Sir Alexander Fraser, Lord Saltoun, sold the building
to the Northern Lighthouse Board in 1786
Kinnaird Head is the headland at the north end
of Fraserburgh, it marks the end of the Moray
Firth. Kinnaird Head Lighthouse was built in 1787
as the first lighthouse in Scotland. The Northern
Lighthouse Board's first engineer, Thomas Smith,
identified the headland as one of four vital to
light to protect trade to the Baltic Sea. In 1824
Robert Stevenson, Thomas Smith's son-in-law, and
engineer to The Northern Light Board constructed
a tower within the castle walls to hold
the weight of a new light.
horn was constructed at Kinnaird Head in 1902,
when further improvements were made to the light,
it ceased to sound in 1984. The lighthouse at
Kinnaird Head is now open to the public, for further
information contact The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses
The Wine Tower is the oldest building in Fraserburgh
and is described as "remarkable and mysterious".
It contains an extraordinary collection of ceiling bosses
including representations of the Fraser coat of arms.
The original use of the building is unknown and there
are various local stories about the tower. Entry to
the public is only allowed on special open days organized
by The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses, or by pre-booked
group. For further information, or to arrange a visit
contact The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses on 01346
This stands adjacent to The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses.
In May 2007 the Fraserburgh Heritage Centre, was awarded
a FOUR STAR rating by Visit Scotland and previous winner
of the Scottish Museum of the Year award and Commended
by the tourist board. The centre was setup in 1998 to
display the story of the town. You can step back in
time through centuries of history from the bustling
quayside in the age of sail to the haute couture of
dress designer Bill Gibb. The centre also features temporary
and topical displays which change regularly. Experience
guides are available at the centre to make you visit
enjoyable and informative.
Broadsea, also known as 'The Seatown' was originally
a separate village which is now integrated into
the town of Fraserburgh. The village was inhabited
by fishermen, a hardy but insular community of people.
The first houses were erected at the point of the
headland and later the village extended further
inland. Broadsea was the home of Christian Watt,
author of the Christian Watt Papers. Today this
village is a conservation area and the rudiments
of the original settlement are still to be seen
The Fraser family are said to originate from Anjou in
France. The Fraser's settled in Scotland around the
12th century. It is known that Sir Alexander Fraser
of Cowie and Durris and first of Philorth died circa
1410. His son, also Alexander Fraser, received a charter
from Mary Queen of Scots which erected Faithlie into
a free burgh, mainly as a result of him building a harbour
||which encouraged trade.
His grandson, Alexander Fraser, 8th Laird of Philorth,
is recognised as 'The founder of Fraserburgh' He
built Kinnaird castle, erected a new church, and
extended the harbour build by his grandfather. The
10th Laird became The 10th Lord Saltoun through
his mother, Margaret Abernethy. Since that time
the Lady Saltoun of Abernethy was recognised as
the 'Chief of the name and arms of the whole Clan
Clan Fraser website http://www.fraserchief.co.uk/index.html
Fraserburgh RNLI Lifeboat
Fraserburgh was the first RNLI Station in Scotland,
opening in 1858. It is thought that the station was
closed for sometime between 1848 and 1858 when the lifeboat
was placed in the town at the request of the residents.
Three times in the 20th century thirteen men and three
Fraserburgh lifeboats have been lost whilst going to
the aid of others in distress:
1919 - The 'Lady Rothes' capsized and two lives were
1953 - The 'John and Charles Kennedy' capsized at the
harbour entrance and six of the seven crew were lost.
1970 - The 'Duchess of Kent' capsized about 38 miles
off Fraserburgh and five of the crew of six were lost.
Fraserburgh's new Trent class lifeboat the 'Willie
and May Gall' arrived in May 2002. It has a top speed
of 25 knots and carries a crew of six. The cost of £1
1/4 million was funded by a legacy from Willie and May
Gall who lived in Newburgh, Aberdeenshire.
Fraserburgh Fishing Industry
The growth of the herring fishing industry in the 19th
century put Fraserburgh firmly on the map. The development
of the harbour allowed more than 1000 drifters to land
their fish each season in the busiest years between
1870 and 1900. At this time the industry employed 16,000
people including gutters, coopers and curers. The fishing
season ran from July to September when the whole town
worked on the curing and barrelling. The coming of the
railway in 1865 enabled catches to be sent all over
the world with fish destined for Jamaica and America
as well as Russia and Europe.
|Today the herring industry has declined
somewhat but Fraserburgh continues to be a major
white-fish port and a busy commercial harbour.