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Scottish Gaelic: Port Saoidh
Portsoy Old Harbour.jpg
Portsoy Old Harbour
Portsoy is located in Aberdeen
 Portsoy shown within Aberdeenshire
Population 1,734 (Census 2001)[1]
OS grid reference NJ589660
Council area Aberdeenshire
Lieutenancy area Aberdeenshire
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BANFF
Postcode district AB45
Dialling code 01261
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament Banff and Buchan
Scottish Parliament Banffshire and Buchan Coast
List of places

Coordinates: 57°40′59″N 2°41′17″W / 57.683°N 2.688°W / 57.683; -2.688

Portsoy (Scottish Gaelic: Port Saoidh)[2] is a village in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

The original name may come from Port Saoithe, meaning "saithe harbour".[3]

Portsoy is located on the Moray Firth Coast of North East Scotland, 50 miles North West of Aberdeen & 65 miles East of Inverness. It had a population of 1752 persons at the time of the 2011 census.[4]

Portsoy is known for local jewellery made from "Portsoy marble" (which is not marble, but rather serpentine). The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival, started in 1994, occurs annually, which is worth over £4 million to the local economy.[5][6]


From the 16th century until 1975, Portsoy was in the civil and religious parish of Fordyce.[7] It lost its status as a burgh in 1975 and became a part of the District of Banff And Buchan.[8] In 1996 administration was transferred to the Aberdeenshire council area.[8]

The "Old" Harbour dates to the 17th century and is the oldest on the Moray Firth. The "New" Harbour was built in 1825 for the growing herring fishery,[9] which at its peak reached 57 boats.[10][unreliable source?]


Portsoy Primary School provides education for children from age 3 in ante-pre-school class through to age 12 in Primary 7 (P7). The school dates form the 1800s but has been expanded and modernised.[11]

Portsoy also has a public library[12] and the Portsoy Salmon Bothy serves as a museum, exhibition space and multipurpose venue.[13]

Notable people[edit]

  • Jimmy MacBeath (1894-1972), the wandering singer, was born in Portsoy and is buried there
  • Eoin Jess, the former Aberdeen and Scotland footballer, was born in Portsoy
  • Jimmy Paterson, trombonist with Dexy's Midnight Runners, was born and raised in Portsoy


  1. ^ Scotland's Census Results OnLine
  2. ^ "Gaelic Place-Names of Scotland database". Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "Scottish Parliament: Placenames collected by Iain Mac an Tailleir" (PDF). Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  4. ^ "Locality 2010 / Portsoy". Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  5. ^ Portsoy Boat Festival
  6. ^ Banffshire Journal, 11 Aug 2009
  7. ^ "Parish of Fordyce". ScotlandsPlaces. Historic Environment Scotland. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "Burgh of Portsoy". ScotlandsPlaces. Historic Environment Scotland. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  9. ^ "Portsoy". Banffshire Coast. Banffshire Coast Tourism Partnership. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  10. ^ "Images of Portsoy, Aberdeenshire, Scotland". Scottish History Online. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  11. ^ "Welcome to Portsoy Primary School". Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  12. ^ "Portsoy Library". Aberdeenshire Council. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  13. ^ "Portsoy Salmon Bothy". Museums Galleries Scotland. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]