Port an Tobair at Balemartine
Photograph of Port an Tobair at Balemartine in 2004.
Envious of the success of the Dutch fishing fleet in the North Sea, the British Government established the Fishery Board in 1809 to promote fishing around Britain. In 1824, the Board commenced a programme of pier building funded with contributions from landlords.
In 1847 at the height of the potato famine, the 8th Duke of Argyll paid £690 as his share of the cost to build four piers in Tiree at the Green, West Hynish, Balemartine and Milton. The Balemartine pier was built at Port an Tobair (harbour of the well) and at its busiest twelve boats used it.
Exposed to winter storms, the pier was repeatedly damaged. In 1902 thirty fishermen wrote to the County Clerk asking for it to be repaired. In 1912 the 9th Duke of Argyll and Lord Archibald Campbell contributed to its repair but it was finally destroyed by a storm in 1936.
Colour photograph of Port an Tobair at Balemartine in 2004.
Port an Tobair at Balemartine photographed by Dr John Holliday in 2004.