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History of Montrose
Chapter XX. - The Harbour


THE Harbour is formed by the outlet of the river South-esk, which falls into the sea between the rocky point of Scurdy Ness on the south, and the Annat Sands, which forms a natural breakwater, on the north, leaving a channel between of 171 yards wide, with a depth of 18 feet at high water of spring tides, and 15 feet at neap tides up to the quay. A Wet Dock was constructed in 1839, 3J acres in extent, and with a depth of water of 19 feet over the sill at high water of spring tides, and 16 feet in neap tides. “The value of such a dock to the public,” says an Admiralty Report in 1850, “was recently proved by H.M. Steamer ‘Stromboli,’ of 910 tons, having entered the dock to coal at neap tides, which could not at that time have been done at any other port on the east coast of Great Britain, with the exception of Dundee. The dock quays afford 1500 feet of wharfage, and the river quays 1700 yards more. There are two good lighthouses between the harbour and the sea, a patent slip for repairing vessels, a well-found life-boat, and two steam-tugs. The harbour accommodation having become too limited for the increasing trade, a Bill is before Parliament for making a great addition to the wet dock. It is thought that a stone pier on the north side of the river at the entrance, would do much for the safety of ships, and the removal of the cross dykes would deepen the channel; and were a lighthouse erected at Scurdy Ness, there would not be a better Harbour of Refuge on the east coast.

Our excellent shore-master, Mr John Smith, has furnished me with a correct account of the imports and exports from 1860 till last year. The falling off in grain and other articles arises from large quantities which were formerly shipped being now sent by rail.


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