Rosehearty is a settlement on the Moray Firth coast, four miles west of the town Fraserburgh, in the historical county of Aberdeenshire in Scotland.
Parking: Picnic site car park on hard grassed area
Water Access: Walk along rocks to the waters edge
Site Info: A very popular dive site that you can usually get in and out off okay no matter what the state of the tide is.
Access to the water is across the rough rock and boulder foreshore and gives a variety of options. The most commonly used entry point is at the end of a side gully which depending on state of tide can have a large flat shelf a few feet under or above the water level. An alternative is to go off the front face of the rocks. Once in the water you will have a vertical descent of about 6-8m to the bottom. You can also enter via the beach immediately below the car park though this is a shallow and awkward swim to gain any depth.
The site below the water is a mass of rocky outcrops, gullies and shelves. There are a wide variety of dive routes which can be performed by following the rock faces round under water. Of particular note are 3 swim throughs just North east of the main entry point.
During spring tides an along shore current can catch divers as you venture further out from the shore.
Rosehearty lies on the north-facing coast of Aberdeenshire, four miles west of Fraserburgh. It was probably first settled by Danish fishermen in the 1300s and the name means Abhartach's Point in Old Gaelic. History fails to record who Abhartach was.
In 1424 the Fraser family built Pitsligo Castle on a site a few hundred yards inland from the coast. This was considerably enlarged by the Forbes family in 1570: the Frasers moving to Pittulie Castle which they built a short distance to the east. The remains of the two castles can be seen from Rosehearty.
In the 1630s Sir Alex Forbes, resident of Pitsligo Castle and later to become the First Lord Pitsligo, dramatically expanded the existing settlement of Rosehearty. The aim was to develop a large commercial fishery, with Sir Alex taking 20% of everything landed at his new port. The harbour probably dates back to this expansion, and Pitsligo Church was built in 1632.
One of Sir Alex's successors backed the wrong side in the 1715 Jacobite uprising and the lands and title were forfeited. By the 1850s both Pitsligo and Pittulie Castles were derelict: but Rosehearty was booming.
90 fishing boats were based here, supporting a range of marketing and processing activities. But when the railway came to north east Scotland it terminated at Fraserburgh rather than at Rosehearty and the local fishing industry moved there almost overnight.
Today's Rosehearty retains an active, if not exactly a busy, harbour. This lies at the east end of the old heart of the village. Fishertown, which still has its distinctive rows of fishermen's cottages, extends around the shoreline from the harbour not far above the high tide mark. This must be an exciting place in a northerly storm.
To the south of Fishertown is the New Town, built largely during the boom years of the 1800s. This is focussed on its large square. The southern side of Rosehearty is still more recent, concluding with the 9-hole golf club and by the open land around the two ruined castles.
On the west side of Rosehearty is one of its most recent and most distinctive structures, a tall white observation tower associated with the military ranges off the coast here.