Peterhead

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Peterhead is a Town on the Aberdeenshire Coast area of Scotland, 36 miles north of Aberdeen.

Peterhead is popular for its Prison Museum, Local History Museum, Harbour, and a number of Walks in the Area.

Town Map 33 Large Images
Hotels B&Bs Self Catering
Shops Restaurants Golf

See also a large Click On Map for the area Top Attractions.

Camping & Touring Parks in the area.

The image top is from a large Car Park on the south side of Peterhead looking over the Marina and small Beach.

The second image is from the same Car Park looking over Lido Campsite, Harbour, and Peterhead Town. The Campsite has Pitches for Tourers and Tents.

Old St Peter's Church is on the road into Peterhead Centre from the south. This Church was built from the 1100s, with much of that Building demolished in 1806 due to subsidence.

Peterhead Old Parish Church is on Errol Street, leading to the Town centre. This Church was completed in 1806, leading to Old St Peter's Church being demolished.

Marischal Street is the centre of Peterhead where most of the Shops, Diners, and Cafes can be found.

The Fisher Jessie Sculpture is on Marischal Street, created by Andy Scott in 2001. The Sculpture is based on the real life Jessie Buchan, refereed to as Fisher Jessie. This Woman was one of many from the early 1800s up to the 1950s that would carry large amounts of Fish around in Baskets to be sold in the Town, and to people living in the Countryside.

The Arbuthnot Museum is situated on St Peter Street, a few hundred yards north of Marischal Street. This Museum covers Peterhead's Fishing, Shipping, and Whaling industries, with Model Boats showing how Fishing evolved over the years. The Museum also has an Inuit Collection with Animals such as Polar Bear, Whaling Memorabilia, and Old Photographs of Peterhead and the Area.

Broad Street is at the east end of Marischal Street, with the Reform Monument and Town House. The Reform Monument was built in 1833 to celebrate the Reform Act of 1832, which extended voting rights.

The Town House was built in 1788 with later additions. In front of the Town House is a Statue of Field Marshal James Keith, a Jacobite from the Peterhead area that fled to Russia where he became a Field Marshal in the Prussian Army. Keith was killed at the Battle of Hochkirchen in 1758.

Peterhead Harbour is east of Broad Street. This is where the Town evolved, around Fishing from the 1580s. The Harbour was extended in the 1770s and 1820s for Fishing and Whaling, becoming one of the largest Fishing Ports in Europe.

The Whaling Industry ended at Peterhead in 1893 after Shale Oil production expanded around the UK. Shale Oil from Crushed Rock was less expensive to produce than Whale Oil.

Peterhead Prison Museum is situated in the south side of Peterhead on South Road. This Prison opened around 1888 to serve as Scotland's only Convict Prison, for Hard Labour, Scotland's toughest Prison. A new Prison was completed in 2013, leading to the Old Prison being used as a Museum.

Peterhead History

1300s - Clan Keith gained land in the Aberdeen and Peterhead area for their support of King Robert the Bruce during the First War of Scottish Independence. They also gained the title Earl Marischal.

1382 - the Keith's gained control of Dunnottar Castle, 54 miles south of Peterhead.

The Keith's continued to support descendants of Robert the Bruce, the Stuart Kings, leading to high profile positions.

1593 - George Keith, 5th Earl Marischal, had the first Harbour built at Peterhead for Fishing and Trade.

1700s - Peterhead supported the Jacobite's, with Money and Weapons landed at the Harbour from France. The Jacobite supporting James Keith, had to flee Scotland after the Jacobite's were defeated by Government Forces. Keith ended up in Russia where he became a Field Marshal in the Prussian Army.

1788 - the first Whaling Ship began operating out of Peterhead named the Robert, hunting in the waters around Greenland. The Oil and Fat from the Whales was used for Lighting, Soap, and in the Textile Industry.

The Meat from the Whales was either dumped at Sea, or used for Animal Feed, as it was hard to preserve and few People would eat it.

1798 - the first Horse drawn Mail Coaches began running between Edinburgh and Peterhead, using new Roads and Bridges, also carrying Passengers.

1800s - the Herring industry was booming with around 600 Sail Fishing Boats based at Peterhead catching vast amounts of Fish, with record catches around the late 1800s. Herring are an Oily Fish, easily caught as they swim in Shoals close to the surface.

1841 - Peterhead Golf Club was founded on the north side of the Town.

1862 - Peterhead Railway Station opened, at a time vast quantities of Fish were being distributed around the UK.

1865 - a Lifeboat Station was established at Peterhead.

1888 - Peterhead Convict Prison was opened as Scotland's toughest Prison.

1892 to 1912 - the South Breakwater at the Harbour was constructed by Convicts from Peterhead Prison.

1893 - the last Peterhead based Whaling Ship was taken out of service, mainly due to less expensive Shale Oil being produced from Crushed Rock. Peterhead Whaling Ships caught over 5,600 Whales in 105 years.

1895 - the first Cars were imported into Scotland.

1900s early - powered Fishing Boats began entering service, allowing Fishing further out into the North Sea with larger nets.

1930s - Diesel engine Trucks began operating, taking trade from the Railways.

1950s - Over Fishing led to the decline of the Herring Industry, with many Fishing Boats taken out of service. Quotas were also introduced to allow Fish Stocks to recover.

1970 - Peterhead Railway Station was closed. By this time, most of the Fish from Peterhead was being transported around the UK and Europe in Refrigerated Trucks.

1970s - Peterhead is used to service the North Sea Oil and Gas Industry.

1980s - Peterhead had become one of the largest Ports in Europe for White Fish, with most White Fish caught at the bottom of the Sea, such as Cod and Haddock. Most of the Cod is sold in England, most of the Haddock sold in Scotland.

Modern Trucks and New Roads, allows the Refrigerated Trucks carrying Fish to travel the 580 miles from Peterhead to London in about 12 hours.

2013 - a new Prison was opened at Peterhead, leading to the Old Prison being used as a Museum.

2018 - a new Fish Market opened at Peterhead.

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