The harbour in 2006 – note the recently installed pontoons and the area for laying up boats on the hard standing to the right.
Winter view of the harbour

The harbour was built originally in 1814 by Sir Alexander Mackenzie (see his letter below), and was designed by Thomas Telford – famed for his works of engineering throughout Scotland. The survey for the harbour was carried out by Thomas Telford on 2nd April 1813, and the plan shown here was taken from Telford’s book “Plans and dimensions of harbours, wharfs and ferry piers made or improved under the direction of Commissioners for Highland roads and bridges (1806 – 21)”.

But by the early part of the 20th century, the harbour was proving inadequate.

With fishing playing an important part in the Avoch way of life, James Douglas Fletcher, owner of Rosehaugh, was keen to support the fishermen particularly in their need for a new harbour. The improvement proposed was to cost £6,000 and James Douglas contributed £500 towards this. He hosted a three-day bazaar at Rosehaugh to help raise funds, when “ladies of some position” in the community each took a stall, and were helped by local women. The Bazaar was held in the grounds of Rosehaugh House in September 1903. Daily opening ceremonies were carried out by local dignitaries, and musical recitals were performed by the Greek Ladies Orchestra during the day. This was a unique occasion, as it saw a coming together of the different social classes of the community in a joint venture.

Plans were drawn up for the new harbour to the west of Avoch, beyond where the Industrial Area now is. However, after much discussion with the fishermen, it was decided to keep the harbour in its existing position, and the money raised was used to extend the facilities.

Avoch Harbour Trust was formed in 1903 and the new harbour was built with the money raised locally, aided by grants and a loan from the Fishery Board. The harbour was completed in 1906; the east breakwater was added in 1912, and the pier was renovated in 1948.

Sir Alexander Mackenzie’s letter
Painting of Avoch harbour