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Home > Research > Vernacular Harbours > The Project Themes > Harbour Building, Modification and Conservation

Led by Professor John Hume, Chairman, RCAHMS, Honorary Professor at the Universities of Glasgow and St. Andrews; and Dr Robert Prescott, Honorary Senior Lecturer, University of St Andrews; Honorary Vice President, Scottish Fisheries Museum.

Introduction. Vernacular harbours are loosely defined as those which have been in use by local communities for a long time, typically hundreds of years, and the origins of which are uncertain. They are likely to have been modified, repaired and enlarged from time to time. Their uses may have changed over the years and they may or may not still be in use. Large commercial ports and docks are excluded.

Purpose of project. To record information about the present appearance and condition of harbours and to make this information available for study and analysis, for historical investigation, for conservation planning and for future repair work or other development.

Scope of project. To include harbours all over Scotland but for practical reasons, giving priority initially to the east coast and to those on sea coasts and estuaries rather than on inland waterways. Sites where there is no longer visible evidence of a harbour will not be considered. When resources are available, the project will extend to: the communities which use or formerly used the harbours and lived in their vicinity, and the houses and other buildings adjacent to the harbours.

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