Fraserburgh

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Kinnaird Lighthouse, FraserburghFraserburgh (www.visitfraserburgh.com), is in the Buchan area of North Aberdeenshire Fraserburgh. This was the power base of the Comyn opposition to Bruce when he threw off the overlordship of the English king. Subsequently it became the property of the Frasers of Philorh whose castle on Kinnaird Head got it its colloquial name of 'the Broch'.

The fishing village of Faithlie Sir Alexander Fraser of Philorth obtained a Royal Charter to turn the local fishing village of Faithlie into a free Burgh of Barony in 1546 and it was subsequently renamed Fraserburgh in 1592 and became a burgh of regality in 1601 when King James (VI of Scotland and I of England) gave the Sir Alexander Fraser the right to 'improve and govern the town' as Lord Saltoun and to have a 'college and university'. This never really got really established and indeed closed after the first Principal, the Rev. Charles Ferme, was arrested for attending the proscribed General assembly of the church of Scotland in 1607. It did in fact briefly house a university college when the Kings College was evacuated from Aberdeen because of the plague in 1647.

One interesting result of this new charter is that Fraserburgh's Mercat Cross (www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk) is the only cross in Scotland to have the royal arms of both the old Kingdom of Scotland and that of the United Kingdom, under James the 6th of Scotland and 1st of England.

Kinnaird Lighthouse, FraserburghThe Fraser's castle on Kinnaird Head was no longer used and became the first mainland lighthouse in Scotland built by the Northern lighthouse Board in 1787. Fraserburgh's lighthouse (www.lighthousemuseum.org.uk) is now a The Scottish Lighthouse Museum with its 100 year old equipment still in working order and other related artefacts are also on show. As such it is a worthy tribute to the remarkable Stevenson family, of which Robert Louis Stevenson was a member, who provided the Northern lighthouse Board's chief engineers for over 150 years.

Another first for Fraserburgh is its lifeboat; set up in 1806 and managed by the Harbour Commissioners, it was taken over By the RNLI in1858 and was their first station in Scotland. It has been a huge benefit to this town with its extensive fishing industry and to the traffic passing along past this cost. There have been three boats lost over the years, in 1918, in 1953, and in 1970 And untold numbers of rescues on this stormy coast. One of the Burgh's most noteworthy sons would be Thomas Blake Glover (www.rampantscotland.com), born here in 1838 when his Father worked as a coastguard. He went on to make and lose a series of fortunes in Japan, and was one of the founders of the Mitsubishi Company; indeed he went on to marry and finish his life in Japan in 1911. The Burgh's Heritage Museum (www.fraserburghheritage.com) also provides interesting information on Glover and on others such as Marconi, who carried out some of his wireless development experiments here, John Ross who was famed in Zululand (Actually born in Fraserburgh as Charles Rearden MacLean), David Murison, who edited the Scottish National Dictionary.

Fraserburgh's Golf Course (www.fraserburghgolfclub.org) is interesting, being a traditional Scottish links course. Actually golf (or Gowff as it was them spelt) is recorded in Fraserburgh when a young man was punished for playing on the Sabbath in1613. The Club itself was established in 1777, which means that it is the seventh oldest Club recorded and indeed the oldest still using its original name.

The Fraserburgh Rotary Club was chartered in 1948 and provides members with fellowship while helping others both locally and internationally. It is part of the North of Scotland District (1010) and one small cog in the over 10,000 Clubs that power the Worldwide Rotary International. The current World Project is the Eradication of Polio and this has now reached the stage of that last push to clear the few remaining areas where this still occurs.

Last updated: 4 July 2011
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