|The Old Bridge, Wick - Watercolour, 16 x 26 cm|
For much of it's early history, Wick was little more than a small collection of buildings at the mouth of the River Wick. However in the 19th Century, prosperity came to the town as a result of the growth of the fishing industry. Fleets sailed out of Wick, and other ports, in search of the huge shoals of herring that were in the North Sea at that time. This was happening at the same time that the Highland Clearances* were driving people out of their homes in much of Northern Scotland. Large numbers of these Highlanders were attracted to the fishing ports in search of work. In Wick it led to the construction of a new town, Pultneytown, on the south side of the river. The two communities were administered separately for many years, but eventually they were merged into one town. Sadly for Wick, the herring stocks crashed under the pressure of over-fishing, and the prosperous times came to an end.
Some imposing buildings were constructed during the prosperous years, including the grand Station Hotel, overlooking the stone Bridge of Wick, which was built in 1800 to replace a simple plank footbridge.
The shortest street in the world is to be found in Wick: it is 2 metres long and contains a single doorway. Another surprising fact is that the artist L.S. Lowry** visited the town. Better-known for his paintings of the mill towns of Lancashire, he painted several views in Wick, and there is a heritage trail following in his footsteps.
Location - https://goo.gl/maps/qpyV74XPkY62
* Highland Clearances - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highland_Clearances
** L.S. Lowry - http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/l-s-lowry-1533