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The Village of Tarbert

 

It is likely that the original settlement would have been close to, and to the west of, the Castle, on this high ground above the sheltered anchorage.

The village, as we know it now, developed from the 19th century, when the engineer Thomas Telford (1757-1834) improved the harbour, and fishing became the major industry still sustained today.

The setting of a village clustered around a busy natural harbour creates a picturesque location, now given Conservation Area status to protect the vernacular architecture and unique appearance of the horseshoe shape of Telford's harbour wall.

Image by Phil Fox -Denham

 
Loch Fyne has a long history of fishing, and Tarbert Harbour has been, and continues to be, an important base for the industry.  The modern Fish Quay and active fishing fleet enliven the village atmosphere, in addition to providing essential employment.
 
Many fishing boats were built in Tarbert, but sadly that is no longer a viable industry.  However, two historic craft  -  one over a hundred years old, and the other a replica of a Loch Fyne skiff and built by local children  -  can be seen moored opposite the Victoria Hotel.
 
At the end of the 19th century, the harbour would have been home to large numbers of similar boats.
 
Today, the Harbour also serves the leisure industry, with boat moorings and pontoons.
 
Further reading:-
 
Tarbert Past and Present (Dugald Mitchell MD)
Tarbert in Picture and Story (Dugald Mitchell MD)
Tarbert Loch Fyne : A History of its Harbour (Ian Y MacIntyre)
The Ring-Net Fishermen (Angus Martin)
Tarbert Fishing Boats 1925-75 (Brian Ward)
The North Herring Fishing (Angus Martin)
The Buildings of Scotland - Argyll and Bute (Frank Arneil Walker)
 
Tarbert's present-day Harbour Authority has provided visitor information boards around the harbour, which provide historical detail about the village, the harbour, fishing, and steamships using the East Pier, in addition to village walks and wildlife.
 
Medieval carved slab in Tarbert's graveyard
 
For more information about the Castle, click here

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