Old Slains Castle  
Old Slains Castle viewed from the north. On its headland site the castle is now a ruin having been destroyed by King James V1 of Scotland in 1594 to punish the Earl of Erroll for the part he played in a Catholic plot against him.

In the foreground is an upturned boat which was used as a shed for storing fishing gear. The hamlet was largely abandoned in 1900 when the inhabitants, with only a very inadequate natural harbour and following several seasons of poor fishing, voted to move to seek their fortunes in Aberdeen.

Built from the dark limestone rock that was quarried in Collieston the castle is of mixed rubble and faced stone construction. The walls are two metres thick with some internal stairways still intact.

The single storey cottages clustered around the keep are of rubble construction, both harled and unrendered and with clay pan tile roofs. The village was largely abandoned in 1900 when most of the inhabitants, following several seasons of poor fishing, voted to move to seek their fortunes in Aberdeen.

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The Collieston fishing fleet of larger, tall masted, yawls in port circa 1900. Some of the fishermen’s gear can be seen lying on the Pier. Beyond the yawls, the gable end of the cottage now known as ‘Buckies’ is easily identifiable, as is the line of the road running from the harbour up to the village.
In wintertime the yawls were taken to the shelter of the Ythan Estuary

A yawl sails into Collieston harbour at the beginning of the 20th Century by which time the fishing industry in Collieston was in decline.

After the Pier was built in 1894, the harbour began to silt up, small herring boats became outmoded and the young men left to join larger boats working from Torry, Aberdeen. Soon there were not enough men left to haul the large line boats up the beach.

By 1900 only sixteen boats were left, by 1929 only fourteen small boats, and the few remaining fishermen were well into middle age. Norman Grant, who died in 1971, represented the end of the line as far as commercial fishing out of Collieston was concerned.

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  Rescue at sea  
On 16th August 1907, George Ligertwood went to the rescue of Miss J.E.Adam who had got into some difficulty at Hackley Bay, south of Collieston. His bravery was recognised by the Royal Humane Society whose patron was King Edward V11.

At a committee meeting, chaired by Colonel Horace Montagu, and held at the Society’s Office at 4, Trafalgar Square, London, on 15th November of the same year, it was unanimously resolved that George Ligertwood be duly awarded a certificate, printed on vellum, for gallantly saving the life of Miss Adam.

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....copyright collieston's century 2003