Kinneil House Welcome to Bo'ness Welcome to Bo'ness Welcome to Bo'ness Bo'ness Harbour SRPS Bridgeness Tower Carriden Blackness Castle in East
Kinneil House Find out more about Bo'ness History of Bo'ness Search Bo'ness site and Internet Community Groups & Links Business In and around Bo'ness Contact information
Bo'ness Harbour

Bo'ness was officially recognised as a port in 1601, although it had been recognised as such since at least 1565.

Bo'ness Port. The Scottish Privy Council closed the port of Bo'ness in 1602 because of the enormous amount of smuggling that was tacking place. It was reopened a few years later.

The construction of the first harbour at Bo'ness was authorised by an Act of Parliament in 1707. Until now ships could only load and unload using a long causeway, accessible only at low tide and in calm weather. However, until 1733, this amounted to a simple pier on the West Side of the anchorage.

The Custom House moved from Blackness to Bo'ness on 26th December due to the influence of the Hamilton's.

In 1733 the East Pier, some 368 feet long was added to Bo'ness Harbour. This was further extended by a further 180 feet in 1787.

Beer Tax and Bo'ness Harbour

By 1744 the shipowners and merchants of Bo'ness were worried about the condition of Bo'ness Harbour, the quays were in a poor state and the harbour was silting up. Ships already paid 11/2d per ton for anchorage, but this proved to insufficient funding for the purpose. After due deliberation they decided to tax Bo'ness beer at the rate of 2d Scots per pint (1 Scots was 20 pennies compared to 240 pennies in 1 Sterling). An Act of Parliament was past and trustees appointed, but needless to say there was great opposition from the brewers and ale house keepers. Ironically it was through the harbour for which the beer tax was imposed that most of the illicit beer was to be smuggled into Bo'ness.

By about 1796 Grangemouth, South and North Queensferry, St. David's, Inverkeithing, Limekilns, Torry and Culross were all attached to the Bo'ness Custom House. At this time there were 44 officers employed. Salt was still a precious commodity the Bo'ness salt duty amounting to 3,000. Salt was stored in cellars or "girnels" barred with strong doors sealed by the Revenue Officer. It was only allowed to be taken out when the duty was paid.

In 1876 it was decided to extend the west pier and construct a dry dock where hydraulic machinery would be installed.

The new Bo'ness Dock was completed in 1881 along with the rest of the work.

In 1907 the trade in the harbour was as follows:-

Foreign trade: Inward 691 ships, 378,654 tons; Outward 739 ships, 365,457 tons. Coastal trade: Inward 516 ships, 111,495 tons; Outward 558 ships, 122,367 tons. There were also Consulates for: Denmark, Germany, Norway, The Netherlands, Russia and Sweden in the town.

During WW I flotillas of destroyers were based at Bo'ness.

Between 1935 and 1948 the trade at Bo'ness Harbour declined for several reasons including the following: it was closed to commercial trade during WW II, the volume of coal business decreased dramatically (which after the war may have been because of cheep foreign coal supplying the traditional Bo'ness markets), it was difficult to keep free of silt and it was not large enough for modern commercial traffic.

Imports 1907 (Comparison) Yearly Average 1935-9 1946 1947 1948

Iron & Steel

 

37,585

34,163

25,870

61,052

Pit props

 

141,672

43,650

86935

104,102

Cement Clinker

 

15,496

23,357

28,145

33,334

Phosphates etc.

 

8,584

2,905

7,242

4,303

Other

 

17,056

5,338

21,329

15,757

Total:

490,149

220,393

109,413

169,521

218,948

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exports

487,824

 

 

 

 

Coal

 

353,839

27,208

11,629

12,501

Imports & Exports

977,973

574,232

136,621

181,150

231,449

Number of ships entering the port

Inward: 1,207

Outward: 1,297

395

203

269

300

A Tank Landing Craft Unit HMS Stopford converted Bo'ness into a temporary Naval Base during WWII. This closed Bo'ness Docks to commercial trade.

Bo'ness Harbour was closed to commercial trade on Tuesday, 30th June 1959.

After a gap of 30 years in 1989 the first commercial ship, the Balmoral, registered in Bristol visits Bo'ness Harbour, although it did berth on the seaward side of the harbour.

Bo'ness Today
Tell Us What You Think about Bo'ness Website!
Have Your Say and Air Your Views on Local and International Concerns or Just Keep in Touch!! Keep in Touch with Family & Friends.
Add/Remove Your Name from Mail List.
In Association with Amazon.co.uk
Shopping Online with some fo Bo'ness Groups and Business
Listen On-line to Radio Scotland - Scotland's National Radio Station
 
 
Calor Scotland
Scottish Community of the Year 2002
WEBSITE COMMENDED
| BACK | HOME | TOP |
Design / Build - WebMedia
:: SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION BY SEO-P ::