Kirkcudbright Harbour and Harbour Square

Buildings, Historic Buildings, Monuments & Statues
Harbour Square lies over a tidal creek which flowed into the River Dee. Now the main car park st Kirkcudbright harbour is home to a fleet of scallop dredgers.

About Kirkcudbright Harbour and Harbour Square

A tidal harbour on the River Dee has been a prominent feature of Kirkcudbright for over 800 years and is a valued source of industry and interest. Kirkcudbright has been home port for a great variety of vessels, whose activities have included warfare, piracy, smuggling, emigration, transportation, coastal trade, international trade, passenger services, excursions, fishing and leisure. The original natural harbour was sited in a creek running into the middle of the town, and was later enclosed by stone quays and a timber wharf to facilitate the handling of cargoes. Several sailing vessels could lie together in the enclosed dock, with their bowsprits projecting over the present rose beds beside St Cuthbert Street. Until 1855, large timber ships were built in shipyards close to the harbour.

In 1910, the old dock was filled in and a new quay was built on its north face, to facilitate the handling of larger steamships. Some reclaimed land was used for the construction of warehouses and stores, and the remainder became open space on which pens were formed when horses and cattle were to be transported by sea. The warehouses have now gone, and the remaining space extending from the River Dee to St Cuthbert Street is known as the Harbour Square. The square is a valuable asset to the town, enabling temporary markets, performance spaces, fairs, civic ceremonies and summer festivities events to be accommodated. It is also much valued by shoppers as a car park, convenient for all the town centre facilities.

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