Our History

Aberdeen Harbour was established in 1136 by King David I of Scotland. According to the Guinness Book of Business Records, it is the oldest existing business in Britain, with a history that has spanned almost 900 years. We are proud of our past and are always learning about our incredible story and how it has evolved into a port fit for the 21st century.

City’s archives team to navigate Aberdeen Harbour Board Collection

Aberdeen City & Aberdeenshire Archives are set to catalogue the archives of Aberdeen Harbour – a history that spans nearly 900 years – thanks to funding from Archives Revealed.

“William” of Aberdeen was first Scottish ship to sail to North America

Construction of the Girdleness Lighthouse

The Girdleness lighthouse was of a state-of-the-art, ground-breaking design.

Loss of the Whaling ship ‘Oscar’

On 1st April 1813, events unfolded that had a dramatic impact on the whole community.

The Story of Aberdeen’s Harbour

First established as a business in 1136 by King David 1st of Scotland, Aberdeen Harbour is, according to the Guinness Book of Business Records, the oldest existing business in Britain, with a history that has spanned almost 900 years. It is only when we map this history against the development of Aberdeen itself into a busy and vibrant city, and against a backdrop of important world events, that we can truly appreciate the port’s incredible story, and its transformation in to a modern, state-of-the-art facility.

How the Harbour has Shaped Aberdeen

The harbour has played an intrinsic role in the commercial success of the city that grew up around it over the past 881 years.

Houdini emerges from the depths of Aberdeen Harbour

Thousands of people gathered at the Harbour on July 1, 1909 to witness the world-famous magician and escapologist Harry Houdini dive into the chilly water whilst chained and handcuffed.

The Great Clipper Race

One of the most famous ships built in Aberdeen Harbour was the Thermopylae.