The Ruined “Smugglers Bothy” at Lamberton Skerrs

The ruined "Smugglers Bothy" at Lamberton Skerrs, the southernmost tip of Scotland. (Image: Graham Robson. The ruined ‘Smugglers Bothy’ at Lamberton Skerrs)

Travel by train up the East Coast Main Line from London to Edinburgh and, on the border of England and Scotland, you may just catch a fleeting glimpse of an isolated ruin overlooking the chilly North Sea. The abandoned building at Lamberton Skerrs is the remains of a long-disused fishery with a history steeped in tales of smugglers from centuries past.

The abandoned fishery at Lamberton Skerrs is steeped in tales of smugglers from centuries past. (Image: Iain Lees)

The fishery at Lamberton Skerrs, at the southernmost tip of Scotland’s east coast just a few miles north of Berwick-upon-Tweed, consists of the ruined cottage, an old net winch and several storage caves carved from the rock face, where other forsaken relics of industry slowly rust away.

(Image: Lisa Jarvis)

Rumour has it that the cottage was once dubbed the “Smuggler’s Bothy”. It was allegedly built around 1760 by merchant and tea smuggler John Robertson, who brought his contraband ashore at this rugged point under cover of night. Only later was the bothy repurposed as a fishery. Its proximity to the mysterious Marshall Meadows Seaweed Railway may possibly be related.

(Image: Richard Webb)

Sadly the building shows signs of vandalism in more recent times, and it’s understood that the roof was destroyed by a fire that was deliberately set. Nevertheless the abandoned fishery offers a fascinating glimpse back into the history of this stunning stretch of UK coastline, both legitimate industry and more shadowy dealings.

(Image: Lisa Jarvis)

For more information on the ruins at Lamberton Skerrs, check out this 2016 article from Two Local Explorers, titled “The Smugglers Bothy”.

(Image: Richard Webb)

Related: 10 Swashbuckling Buccaneers from the Golden Age of Piracy


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