Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NH 78540 67723
278540, 867723


Harbour enclosed by 2 ashlar-built and cobbled piers with outer breakwater/mole, all with bull-nosed ends. Built 1781-1785 by John Smeaton, overseen by John Gwyn

The south pier incorporated an existing stone jetty and was added to by a curved north pier and outer breakwater. The north pier was designed with an arched tunnel which was opened in winter to encourage tidal scouring of the harbour. The outer breakwater was connected to the south pier by a timber bridge in 1879 and was replaced by a metal bridge in 1995.

The harbour was repaired and modified in the 1830s including the addition of a stone ramp to the SE and a parapet wall to the north pier. Later additions by the Admiralty include extensions in reinforced concrete to the breakwater to provide further landing stages. Stone and timber bollards; cast-iron post crane on E pier.


Statement of Special Interest

The hemp factory and herring fishing were important industries to Cromarty and the construction of the piers contributed to the development of Cromarty's prosperity. The harbour was partly funded by George Ross of Cromarty House and partly by the government [Statistical Account]. Following the construction of a harbour pier at Invergordon in 1828,

Cromarty's trade declined and to combat this, a new harbour Trust was formed by an Act of Parliament and £800 was spent on improvements and repairs [Cromarty, An Illustrated Guide]. The link to the outer breakwater was made for steamers, designed by James Fraser. The Cromarty Firth became a fortified naval base during World War I and II which led to the concrete additions, designed in Rosyth Naval Dockyard. List description updated and category changed from B to A, 2004.



The Statistical Account Vol XII (1794) p250-251; Groome F, Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, Vol II p309; Hume J, The Industrial Archaeology of Scotland, Vol II (1977) p285; Generations in Stone CD, Cromarty Courthouse Museum (2000); Cromarty, An Illustrated Guide (2001) p27-28; additional information from the Cromarty Courthouse (2002).

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The statutory listing address is the legal part of the listing. The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. For information about curtilage see Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. 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 Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. 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 current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

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Printed: 17/11/2018 14:59