Following on from my blog last week and our visit to Inverbervie, our next stop is Gourdon, which is only a mile south of Inverbervie. Gourdon is a lovely little fishing village and is one of only a few that have a natural harbour. This picture was taken down at the harbour.
It is such a beautiful little place and you get a real sense of the harbour being a working port. You can see all the lobster pots stacked up around the harbour. When you come into Gourdon, the village itself is situated at the top of the hill and you follow the road down to the harbour. We parked the car and took a wee wander around.
Back in 1315, when the first written documentation referring to the village was made, the village was known as Gurden and it was a fishing and farming settlement. The history of a fishing settlement existing here dates much further back than that and is believed to have dated back to Neolithic times, nearly 5000 years ago. The port was operational by the 1500’s and the population had increased to 200 by the end of the 1700’s.
The village continued to thrive throughout the start of the 19th century with grain that was grown in the area being exported and imports of coal for fuel and lime for agriculture. Unfortunately, when the railway came to this area of the east coast in 1865, it meant that much of this trade ended. As a result of this, fishing became increasingly popular as the village headed towards the end of the 19th Century, with over 8000 barrels of herrings being exported from here in the season of 1881.
Thomas Telford was mentioned last week for making improvements to the harbour at Inverbervie and he was also the person who, back in 1819, built the harbour at Gourdon. This is known as the “Old Harbour” or the “West Harbour” and replaced the original one which was just a gap in between the rocks. Expansion of the harbour took place in 1842 and in 1859, another one was added with renovation work taking place on the harbours as recently as 1960.
It is a beautiful little village to visit and to have a wee wander around. We finished our day off by treating ourselves to a fish supper from the Quayside Restaurant and Fish Bar and it was absolutely delicious!