PETERHEAD, a seaport and burgh of barony of Buchan, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, on a peninsula, 32 miles N. N.
E. of Aberdeen. Founded in 1593, it is somewhat irregular in plan, but clean and largely built of the celebrated "Peterhead granite," whose reddish va riety is so much used for monumental purposes. The Keiths, Earls Marisehal were superiors of the place till the rebel lion of 1715, when the Old Pretender landed here, and after which their for feited estates were purchased by the Ed inburgh Merchant Maiden Hospital, to whose governors many improvements are owing. Of Marshal Keith a bronze statue was presented to the town in 1869 by King William of Prussia; and the market cross, a granite Tuscan pillar (1833), bears the arms of the Earls Marischal. The public buildings in clude the town hall (1788), with spire 125 feet high; the parish church (1803), with one of 118 feet. Of industries may be mentioned the woolen manufacture, boat building, and granite polishing. Peterhead was made a head port in 1838.
From 1788 it gradually became the chief British seat of the seal and whale fish eries till 1852. At present Peterhead is chiefly important for its great herring fishery, which during the herring season brings some 5,000 persons to the place. The S. harbor was commenced in 1773, and the N. harbor in 1818, a canal being formed between them in 1850; while a new harbor was formed and the S. harbor deepened under acts of 1873 and 1876. Their three basins, hewn out of the solid rock, together cover about 22 acres, but are as nothing compared with the great harbor of refuge, begun in 1886, which, but for the World War, would have been completed in 1921. In the neigh borhood are the ruins of Inverugie, Ra venscraig, and Boddam castles, all strongholds of different branches of the Keiths; Buchan Ness, the most E. point of Scotland, with a lighthouse (1827) ; and the Hullers of Buchan. Pop. (1918) 14,000.