Rosehearty lies on the north- facing coast of Aberdeenshire, four miles west of Fraserburgh. It was probalby first settled by Danish fishermen in the 1300’s and the name means Abhartach’s point in Old gaelic. History fails to record Abhartach was.
In 1424 the Fraser family built Pitsligo castle on a site a few hundred yards inland from the coast. This considerably enlarged by the Forbes family in 1570. The Frasers moving to Pittulie Castle which they built a short distance from the east. the remains of the two castles can be seen from Rosehearty.
In the 1630’s Sir Alex Forbes, resident of Pitslligo Castle and later to become the first Lord Pitsligo, dramatically expanded the exsisting settlement of Rosehearty. The aim was to develop a large commercial fisherie with Sir Alex taking 20% of everything landed at his new port. the harbour probably dates back to this expansion and Pitsligo Church was built in 1632.
One of Sir Alex’x successors backed the wrong side in the 1715 Jacobite uprising and the lands and title were forfeited. By the 1850s both Pitsligo and Pittulie Castles were derelict: but Rosehearty was booming.
Ninety fishing boats were based here, supporting a range of marketing and processing activities. But when the railway came to the north east Scotland it terminated at Fraserburgh rather than at Rosehearty and the local fishing industry moved there almost overnight. Today’s Rosehearty retains an active, if not exaclty busy harbour. This lies at the east end of the old heart of the village. Fishertown, which still has its distinctive rows of fishermans’s cottages extends around the shore line from the harbour not far above the high tide mark. This must be an exciting place in a northerly storm.
To the south of Fishertown is the New Town, built largely during the boom years of the 1800s. This is focused on its large square. The southern side of Rosehearty is still more recent concluding with the 9 hole golf club and the open land around the two ruined castles.
On the west side of Rosehearty is one of its most recent and most distinctive structures, a tall white observation tower associated with the military ranges off the coast here.