lies on the north facing coast of Aberdeenshire, approximately
midway between Cullen and Banff.
Of all the many ports along the Aberdeenshire and Moray coasts,
Portsoy was one of the earliest to be established, and as
a result is one of the most fascinating.
was established as a burgh in a charter signed by Mary, Queen
of Scots in 1550, and the first harbour was built at around
the same time. In 1692, Sir Patrick Ogilvie, the 8th Laird
of Boyne replaced the existing harbour with another built
entirely of stone.
of Boyne had long been influential in the area, having built
the clifftop Boyne Castle nearby in the late 1300s. Its replacement,
the Palace of Boyne built in the 1570s - probably with profits
being generated from Portsoy's trade - was still being used
as a grand house in the mid 1700s when the Ogilvies' support
for the Jacobite cause led to their being stripped of their
lands. Its ruins now stand a couple of miles to the east of
Around the Old Harbour are a number of impressive buildings
that date back to the end of the 1600s or early 1700s, with
buildings getting progressively younger as you climb the hill
away from the harbour towards the very attractive Square in
the heart of the uphill parts of Portsoy.