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Here we will publish information on research to date and details of any public talks or meetings.

Initially, we thought it would be useful to clarify what we mean by the term “vernacular harbour”. This is quite difficult to pin down. A summary definition can be given as follows:

>VERNACULAR HARBOURS: we are concerned with harbours that have served fisher folk, commercial trade on a small scale and sometimes as ferry terminals. We are not interested in harbours of refuge capable of sheltering large fleets of naval vessels; major commercial ports of the industrial revolution; or prestige, ceremonial ports.

You can download a fuller explanation of the term vernacular harbour by Dr Robert Prescott here .


In September 2017 we will again host an exhibition curated by our friends at the Kilrenny and Anstruther Burgh Collection which will showcase the changing face of local shops and businesses and will also be a good chance to find out what the group are all about and how to get involved with collecting the history of the local area.

We were partners in the 2016 Kilrenny Anstruther and Cellardyke Burgh Survey series of workshops and events. This project for the community of Anstruther allowed people to explore the past of their burgh through archaeology and historical research. The book Historic Kilrenny, Anstruther Wester, Anstruther Easter and Cellardyke will be launched in September 2017.

Articles available to download:

The following articles have been written for, or submitted to the project by various researchers. The opinions expressed are the authors’ own and, unless otherwise stated, they retain the copyright in their work.

A Largo Bay Maritime Log and the Methil Convoys: a summary of maritime events before and after World War One and World War Two by John Downie, 2015

Threads: Pieces from the Scottish Fisheries Museum’s Costume Collection and the stories woven into them by Jen Gordon, Eileen Montador and Elizabeth Stormonth, 2016

Related Sites:

Museum volunteer Richard Wemyss has created a Facebook page devoted to East Neuk Boatbuilders where you can find images and information on this important industry.

David Sutherland has developed a website charting the production and export of cured herring from Scotland to the Continent from 1809 - 1914. It is packed with useful information and analysis of the Scottish Continental Herring Trade.

Information and an image from our collection of coopering in Anstruther feature in an online exhibition: Artisans and Craft-Production in Nineteenth-Century Scotland curated by by a team of researchers at the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at University of Edinburgh.

Share Your Research:

If you have been researching your family history and have found links to the coastal villages of the East Neuk, please get in touch if you are interested in sharing information or photographs. The museum welcomes many enquirers each year who are researching their own personal history and it may be that we have been able to gather information that would help you. In turn, the research that you have done may help others to find new branches of their family’s history.

Likewise, if you have old photographs that relate to East Neuk harbours or information on the history of your house or a building closely associated with a maritime business, we would love to have copies for our archives.

If you would be willing to share your research, or you want to see what we already have, please contact the museum.

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