christina.ewen, 11th December 2012
Aberdeen harbour is one of Britain’s oldest businesses, dating back centuries.
The sheltered estuary of the River Dee is a natural harbour, with evidence of human habitation around 5,000BC.
Around 2,000BC, immigrants from Rhineland and Holland arrived, probably using the estuary as a base for fishing. The Romans may also have used it.
The first recorded reference was in 1136 when King David I of Scotland granted the Bishops of Aberdeen the right to levy a tithe on ships trading at the port.
The advent of steam trawling in the 1880s meant a significant development to accommodate the fishing industry.
During World War II, the harbour was an important naval base and air attacks caused considerable damage.
In 1960, the Aberdeen Harbour Order Confirmation Act established a new port authority and board and ushered in a new era and a dramatic period of sustained growth and development followed.
The arrival of the offshore oil and gas industry in the mid-1960s resulted in a programme which was to virtually rebuild the harbour in the following decades, transforming it into one of the most modern ports in Europe.