Five Centuries of Harbour Development
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By 1579 Skinfast Haven was described as a ‘new sea port, previously little used and in need of repair’. However, John Beaton, the Laird of Kilrenny, agreed to improve the harbour by renovating the piers in order to improve the landing facilities. In return he collected tithes (fees) from all the fishermen’s catches.
In 1813, after many fatal disasters around the harbour entrance, the Magistrates and Town Council petitioned the Convention of Royal Burghs of Scotland to improve the harbour. The petition stated that the harbour was ‘used daily by other fishermen in the Firth of Forth – from Newhaven, Fisherrow and Prestonpans’. Improvements however were delayed.