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Collieston breakwater - Collieston, Scotland
Collieston is a small former fishing village on the North Sea coast in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The village lies just north of the Sands of Forvie Special Protection Area, between Cruden Bay and Newburgh.
The earliest recorded history of Collieston is of the arrival of St Ternan, a Columban monk on a mission to convert the local picts to Christianity. There is, however, evidence that people lived here during much earlier times.
Collieston was established as a fishing village by the 16th century, and it provided the first safe harbour in over fifteen miles of beaches and dunes stretching north from Aberdeen. Fishing for herring, haddock, whiting and cod flourished in the 17th century and 18th century and was the foundation of Collieston's economy. The village became known for 'Collieston Speldings', salted and sun-dried haddock and whiting, a popular delicacy throughout Britain. As drift netting developed during the mid 19th century, the fishing began to decline and the focus of the industry shifted to places like Peterhead because the harbour at Collieston was too small to safely accommodate the larger boats needed.
The numerous sea caves in the nearby cliffs, and small coves with shingle beaches provided ideal terrain for smugglers. In the late 18th century it was estimated by the Excise that up to 8000 gallons of foreign spirits were being illegally landed in the area every month. In 1798, the notorious village smuggler, Phillip Kennedy, was killed by a blow from an exciseman's cutlass. His grave and tombstone still stands in the village graveyard.
Collieston is now mainly a commuter village serving Aberdeen, and is largely given over to tourists during the summer months.
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December 5th, 2013
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