Known as ‘The Jewel of the Moray Firth’, Lossiemouth is a small coastal town on the north east coast of Scotland. Part of Morayshire, it is six miles by road from Elgin and is located at the mouth of the river Lossie.
Although there has been settlement in the area for over 1,000 years, the town grew with the development of the area. The first harbour was established in the late 17th century when a German man, Peter Brauss, was responsible for constructing a port at the mouth of the river Lossie. A new jetty was constructed in 1764 and the harbour was taken over by The Stotfield Harbour
Company (later renamed the Elgin & Lossiemouth Harbour Company), formed by merchant traders from Elgin.
A new harbour was built from the rocks at Stotfield Point between 1837 and 1839, and by 1852 the railway had reached the town. The three districts of Branderburgh, Seatown and Stotfield had a combined population of 2,497 around that time. The coming of the railway brought the first tourists to Lossiemouth, and persuaded Lt Colonel Brander to build the iconic Seatown Bridge linking East Beach to Seatown to encourage day-trippers. This beach, together with the West Beach with its familiar landmark of the Covesea Lighthouse, continue to bring visitors to Lossiemouth.
Fishing was the mainstay of the local economy from the 18th century. On Christmas Day 1806 all three ‘Skaffie’ boats were lost from Stotfield with a loss of 25 men, leaving 17 widows and 47 orphaned children. The Stotfield Disaster Memorial was erected in 2006, looking out over the town’s West Beach.
William Campbell of Lossiemouth designed the immensely popular Zulu fishing boat in 1879, a mainstay of the herring fishing industry until the introduction of the steam drifter.