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Site created by
Duncan Mackintosh


Latitude: 54° 55'N
Longitude: 03° 50'W
Country: Scotland

Website: www.dalbeattie.com/history/dbtport.htm

About Dalbeattie

The Port of Dalbeattie was a place where ships could unload or load whilst afloat and secured to a quayside. It began as the 'Dub o'Hass', literally 'The Hole in the Bank', a point at which the Dalbeattie Burn entered the River Urr. There, the scour of Burn and River had kept an open basin where ships could turn around. However, the Port actually extended all the way south to the Bar of the Urr, a line between Castle Point and White Horse Bay. This meant that it included wharves at Old Lands, Kirkennan, Garden Creek, Palnackie, Shennan Creek and Kippford, as well as sand-bottomed hards at Rockcliffe. Both Dalbeattie and Palnackie had tidal basins, although these are greatly reduced.

Ships and barges of up to 60 tons could be poled, sailed, or towed up by horse teams from near Palnackie. Dalbeattie Port imported lime and coal from Whitehaven, cattle feed, timber from the Baltic and general cargo from various sources, also rags for paper-making and fertiliser materials (including bonemeal) from the 1790s and 1840s. It exported grain, hides, granite setts and kerbstones (from the 1800s), tiles and bricks (from the 1850s), reaching its zenith in the late 1800s. Thereafter, more goods went through Palnackie and Kippford, but bargeloads of fertiliser and feed were reaching the harbour as late as the 1960s.

At its zenith in 1907 the various ports and quays of the Port of Dalbeattie were visited by 106 sailing vessels and 23 steamers, which unloaded 8,985 tons of cargo and took on 12,764 tons.

Silting and uplift have together contributed to the decline of what was once a key coastal port on the Solway Firth.

Plans are underway to restore the port. See Port restoration project.

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