Montrose Harbour

A thriving tidal harbour located on either side of the mouth of the River South Esk, which is also the entrance to Montrose Basin, Montrose Harbour has been managed by the Montrose Port Authority since 1843, which now operates from the South Quay in Ferryden. Dredging and the flushing action of water leaving the Basin with every falling tide ensures unrestricted access to around 1000m (1093 yards) of riverside quay and deep-water berths. The North Quay provides 558m (610 yards) of berthing, with a further 475m (520 yards) available at the South Quay, which opened in 1975 primarily to serve the North Sea oil and gas industry. The harbour also includes 12.1 ha (30 acres) of open storage and 39,500 sq. m (425,000 sq. feet) warehousing together with office accommodation immediately adjacent to the quaysides.

The harbour here dates back to the 12th C. and, in 1793, was said to be the 'most commodious' between the Firth of Tay and Cromarty Firth. Berthing was on what is now the North Quay, although boats were also anchored in Montrose Basin. A wet dock was constructed on the north shore 1839-41 by engineer James Leslie (1801-89) which enclosed 1.4 ha (3.5 acres) of water behind cast-iron lock gates. This was infilled 1980-82 and is now the site of large storage sheds. The Fishing Quay dates from 1884-85. Today, Montrose still represents an important support base for oil, but other cargoes imported include malting barley, fertiliser, timber-pulp and feed stuffs, while exports include potatoes, scrap metal, grain and other agricultural products. Much trade is undertaken with Baltic countries, but ships also sail from Montrose to Canada, the USA and South America.

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