Portsoy was created a burgh of the barony in a charter granted by Mary Queen of Scots in 1550.The harbour, one of the oldest in Europe, was built in 1692. The construction of the harbour is unusual using large stones set vertically, apparently because it was believed that this made them less likely to be washed away by the sea. The theory seem to have worked, because the Old Harbour you see today is largely the harbour that was built in 1692. Around the Old Harbour are a number of impressive buildings that date back to the end of the 1600s or early 1700s, with buildings getting progressively younger as you climb the hill away from the harbour. The trade in Portsoy's early days was very varied, and included the import of coal for domestic fires and the export of locally produced thread and linen to England. A particular speciality was locally-quarried green Portsoy marble or serpentine. This was extracted from a quarry to the west of the town, and some of it found its way into the fixtures and fittings of Louis XIV's Palace of Versailles. Portsoy marble is still worked locally and a range of products is on view in one of the warehouses overlooking the harbour. Further around the bay is the New Harbour, built in 1825 to meet the demands of the herring boom and the volume of trade going through Portsoy. This had to be rebuilt following storm damage in 1839. Fishing and trade declined at Portsoy through much of the 1900s, but thankfully the charm and character of the town have survived. The Salmon Bothy museum in Portsoy offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of the local fishing industry and the town, and is a must for visitors, also providing a fascinating resource on North East Scotland family history. More recently Portsoy's historic harbour and buildings have been used as film sets noteably for a new version of Whisky Galore and in 2021 for an episode of Peaky Blinders.