Hopeman Harbour Detail

I love the detail in some of the harbour construction along the Moray Coast. Hopeman was established as a planned village originally called “Newtown of Hopeman” in 1805 by the local landowner, William Young of Inverugie. He had opened quarries at Greenbrae and Clashach to the east of the site of the village to extract the golden-coloured sandstone found here, and he needed somewhere to house the quarrymen and their families. In 1836 the Inverugie estate, including the village of Hopeman, was acquired by Admiral Archibald Duff of Drummuir. Within two years, he had built a harbour here, partly to allow the stone extracted from his quarries to be exported more easily and partly to allow fishing boats to be based here, thus broadening the village’s economic base. By 1850 some 70 fishing boats were using the harbour, each with six crew. By 1880 there were 120 fishing boats based at Hopeman and five fish curing businesses operating there. Such was the volume of business through the harbour at Hopeman that it was extended in the 1860s, and in 1892 the Highland Railway extended its branch line, which previously terminated in Burghead, by two miles to a station near Hopeman Harbour. The railway was never a great commercial success, and passenger services ended as early as 1931, with freight services ending in 1957.


  1. I know these landowners, be they owners of mines,quarries mills or fisheries built communities for their workers principly out of self interest….but it did benefit the workforce. In many cases they supported financially the construction of infrastructures such as railways. That is something our current leaders of industry don’t do…. the old benefactors may have earnt their money from others labours in what we think of as terrible working conditions, but they did invest in many community projects. Just so sad to see so much life missing during my lifetime in these communities.

    1. Hi David – I hope this finds you well – you are spot on; we see evidence of their contribution across our landscape – much of still contributing to society now. The current trend seems to be to stumble from one significant challenge until the next is rather tiring, to be honest. Mornings like this alleviate the gloom.

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