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North Berwick Harbour Project


North Berwick, Scotland


East Lothian Council




North Berwick Harbour dates back to 1150, originally a ferry port for pilgrims travelling to St Andrews. These original ferry services carried up to 10,000 pilgrims each year from North Berwick to Earlsferry in Fife. When the town became a Royal Burgh in 1373, a ferryboat was integrated into the town crest which is still visible today.


Ferry services gave way to fishing and commerce in the sixteenth century, causing the harbour to become deepened to allow larger crafts to dock. The number of fishing vessels rose from three to thirty by 1881, while North Berwick bloomed as a tourist destination. City-dwellers as far afield as London came for the beach, golf, shooting and walks around the scenic harbour.


The harbour we see today has been subject to many alterations. Storms have been an enemy of the waterfront since its conception, with reconstruction needed after particular damage in 1788, 1802, 1811 and 1898. This proximity to the dangers of the sea was a key consideration for East Lothian Council in enlisting KITE’s help as leading experts on safety.


Today, the harbour is mostly home to leisure craft, with the East Lothian Yacht Club making up the bulk of vessels. Only three fishing boats remain from the once mighty fleet. Tourists still flock to North Berwick for the sea air, cultural heritage and Scottish Seabird Centre. The oldest remaining part of the harbour is the ‘Auld Kirk Green’, which lies on the site of the original kirk where pilgrims would pray for safe crossing to St Andrews.


The North Berwick witch trials are famous as the first major witchcraft persecution in Scotland, with the trials taking place in the Auld Kirk next to the harbour. After a terrible storm in 1590 nearly sank a ship with King James VI on board, witches were blamed for conjuring the storm and tried by gruesome methods, while pretender to the throne Francis Stewart 5 Earl of Bothwell was charged with high treason.


KITE responded quickly to meet the customer requirement of a Hand-railing System that could be fitted on different levels. We proposed the Two-Ball Standards Handrail System with Return Bends to all tubes engaged in the sloped staircases. The bending service formed D-return Bends that helped to give smooth ends for the system. Providing the galvanised handrail system helped to attain safety for every staff member, visitor, and technician. KITE also supplied galvanised Stair Treads with Pyramid Nosing to guarantee safety on different floor levels and anti-slip use when bad weather occurs. 


Call Kite's team on 0131 333 4413 to discover how we can help with your next project. Alternatively, submit your email address and we will get in touch shortly.

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