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Home > Research > Vernacular Harbours > Keep up with the project

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 .


We are partners in the year-long Kilrenny Anstruther and Cellardyke Burgh Survey series of workshops and events. This project for the community of Anstruther will allow people to explore the past of their burgh through archaeology and historical research.

We have hosted an exhibition here at which you can discover what our friends at the Kilrenny and Anstruther Burgh Collection are all about and how you can get involved with collecting the history of the local area. Please see theposter for details.

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 Trustee 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.

The Scottish Fisheries Museum Trust Ltd
St Ayles, Harbourhead, Anstruther, Fife KY10 3AB
Tel (within UK): 01333 310628
Tel (from outside UK): +44 1333 310628
Charity Number: SC 006185 VAT Reg Number: 270 2790 64
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