Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NJ 68883 64581
368883, 864581


1770-5, John Smeaton; alterations and additions Thomas Telford, 1816; subsequent alterations; dredged by Morrison Construction and pontoon system installed by Solent Marine, 2006. Triangular harbour made up of 1 L-plan pier and 1 straight pier, sub-divided internally by 2 straight piers forming 3 basins. Mainly large vertical squared rubble walling with some later concrete work.

PILLBOX: strategically sited camouflaged, single chamber pillbox incorporated in retaining wall of steeply sloping ground to W of Quayside overlooking harbour. Snecked rubble with concrete cap, 2 splayed horizontal firing loops and narrow blocked doorway.

Statement of Special Interest

Listing updated 2007 to include pillbox. This fine early harbour is the work of two renowned engineers, John Smeaton and Thomas Telford. It is a significant structure in the landscape and is an important part of Banff's industrial and social history. The Harbour has recently (2006) been upgraded with grant aid from Aberdeenshire Council, Scottish Enterprise Grampian and the European Regional Development Fund. Now forming a 74 berth marina with 22 traditional moorings the traditional three basin harbour remains an outstanding structure of importance both architecturally and historically. Originally the harbour was sited on shifting sands at the edge of the River Deveron, but by 1625 a proper harbour was being built and this site was improved by John Smeaton during the years 1770-75. The foundation stone was laid on 11 April, 1770 and Smeaton charged £24 sterling for surveying work and travelling expenses. By 1818 Thomas Telford was working on a new plan for the harbour, comprising 'a pier and breakwater constructed by Telford ... at a cost of £20,000, and at ordinary high water admits vessels drawing 12, at spring-tides 15 feet. ... Coal is the chief article of import, whilst exports are grain, cattle, salmon, and herrings ... A Morton's patent slip, for ships of 300 tons, has been in use since 1836' (Groome). Further improvements were recommended by Admiralty engineers, most of which were carried out between 1840 and 1851. The herring boom led to increased prosperity for the harbour, but the early 20th century saw further silting up of the basins.

The pillbox is sited below the Coastguard Station and an area known as Battery Green. It has a circular concrete structure on its flat top which may have been a small gun emplacement. There is some possibility that the structure was also used a minewatchers' post (a type commonly mistaken for pillboxes), a lookout post for spotting and plotting mines dropped by parachute.



Statistical Account (1797, Witherington and Grant edition, vol xvi, 1982), pp47-8. John R Hume The Industrial Archaeology of Scotland Vol II (1977), p170. Groome Ordnance Gazetteer Scotland Vol 1, p122. Charles McKean Banff & Buchan An Illustrated Architectural Guide (1990), p28. Ed Bernard Lowry 20th Century Defences In Britain (2002).

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 13/07/2024 20:55