Please Sign In | Register
Google pluspinterestShare on Stumble UponShare on RedditFacebookShare on Tumblr
TITLE
Sutors of Cromarty
EXTERNAL ID
QZP40_CARD_0354
PLACENAME
Cromarty
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS: Cromarty
DATE OF IMAGE
PERIOD
CREATOR
J Valentine & Co.
SOURCE
Highland Libraries
ASSET ID
32267
KEYWORDS
postcards
cottages
fishing
firths
giants
navy
Sutors of Cromarty

This postcard from the early twentieth century shows cottages on the foreshore at Cromarty with the Sutors of Cromarty in the distance.

The cottages are part of Cromarty's fishertown. Fishing nets were hung on poles to dry.
There was a fishing community here at least as far back as the seventeenth century and maybe even earlier than that. The people were separate from the rest of the town with their own customs and dialect.

Boats at Cromarty tended to be small and the men were able to fish close to home. During the seventeenth and eighteenth century there were boom times when shoals of herring came in to the Firth. Although there were times, too, when the fish did not come and there was extreme poverty. The Reverend Robert Smith in the Old Statistical Account in 1793, during a lean time, described "the extreme timidity of the fishers" and suggested the "necessity of large boats and by going out some considerable distance down the Murray Firth; fish are caught in abundance"

Even in the good times life was austere particularly for the women who baited the hooks, gutted the fish before packing it into barrels of salt and mended the nets. They even carried the men out to the boats, so they would start the day with dry feet, and brought back the catch in baskets from the boats to the shore.

In the nineteenth century fishing declined. According to Kenneth MacRae in "Highland Doorstep" there were sixty-six fishing boats in 1897 but by the 1930s there were none.

Two headlands, the North and South Sutors guard the entrance to the Cromarty Firth.
The Sutors are said to be named after two giants who lived on the headlands and watched over the people of Cromarty. They were hard working shoemakers who used to throw tools to each other across the narrow strait.

The Cromarty Firth is an inlet of the Moray Firth. Formed at the same time as Loch Ness it is a deep natural harbour. In 1912 it became a naval base and provided a safe anchorage for the fleet in both world wars. The entrance to the Firth was easily protected and the Sutors bristled with military fortifications the remains of which can still be seen. More recently the Cromarty Firth has been used for the construction and repair and mothballing of North Sea oil rigs.

For guidance on the use of images and other content, please see the Terms and Conditions page.
High Life Highland is a company limited by guarantee registered in Scotland No. SC407011 and is a registered Scottish charity No. SC042593
Powered by Capture

Sutors of Cromarty

ROSS: Cromarty

postcards; cottages; fishing; firths; giants; navy

Highland Libraries

Highland Libraries' Postcard Collection

This postcard from the early twentieth century shows cottages on the foreshore at Cromarty with the Sutors of Cromarty in the distance.<br /> <br /> The cottages are part of Cromarty's fishertown. Fishing nets were hung on poles to dry.<br /> There was a fishing community here at least as far back as the seventeenth century and maybe even earlier than that. The people were separate from the rest of the town with their own customs and dialect.<br /> <br /> Boats at Cromarty tended to be small and the men were able to fish close to home. During the seventeenth and eighteenth century there were boom times when shoals of herring came in to the Firth. Although there were times, too, when the fish did not come and there was extreme poverty. The Reverend Robert Smith in the Old Statistical Account in 1793, during a lean time, described "the extreme timidity of the fishers" and suggested the "necessity of large boats and by going out some considerable distance down the Murray Firth; fish are caught in abundance"<br /> <br /> Even in the good times life was austere particularly for the women who baited the hooks, gutted the fish before packing it into barrels of salt and mended the nets. They even carried the men out to the boats, so they would start the day with dry feet, and brought back the catch in baskets from the boats to the shore.<br /> <br /> In the nineteenth century fishing declined. According to Kenneth MacRae in "Highland Doorstep" there were sixty-six fishing boats in 1897 but by the 1930s there were none. <br /> <br /> Two headlands, the North and South Sutors guard the entrance to the Cromarty Firth.<br /> The Sutors are said to be named after two giants who lived on the headlands and watched over the people of Cromarty. They were hard working shoemakers who used to throw tools to each other across the narrow strait. <br /> <br /> The Cromarty Firth is an inlet of the Moray Firth. Formed at the same time as Loch Ness it is a deep natural harbour. In 1912 it became a naval base and provided a safe anchorage for the fleet in both world wars. The entrance to the Firth was easily protected and the Sutors bristled with military fortifications the remains of which can still be seen. More recently the Cromarty Firth has been used for the construction and repair and mothballing of North Sea oil rigs.