created a burgh of barony in 1550 and its first harbour was considered to be
the safest in the North East. As a result it handled a lively trade with
England and the Continent. The town was particularly famed for its marble,
cut from a vein of serpentine which runs across the braes to the west of the
harbour. Portsoy Marble was greatly appreciated for its beauty and was used
in the construction of parts of Louis XIV's Palace of Versailles.
century herring boom brought further prosperity to Portsoy. At its peak, the
herring fleet totalled 57 boats. The harbour was washed away in an extremely
violent storm in 1828 and it took until 1884 for the harbour to be rebuilt.
At one time a railway line ran down to the older harbour which maintained a
busy commercial trade, particularly in coal. Towards the end of the 19th
century the Portsoy fishing fleet moved to the larger harbours of Macduff
and Buckie and today Portsoy's harbours are primarily used by pleasure craft
and creel boats catching lobster and crab.