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A visit to Craster
Craster S

ituated in rural Northumberland, the village of Craster lies almost half way along the Heritage Coast - a twenty mile stretch of breathtaking coastline designated as one of the nation's 'Areas of Outstanding Beauty'. As well as being a thriving fishing harbour, Craster has prospered over the centuries from the stone that came from its Quarry - which was shipped off to become the kerbstones of London. Closed down in 1939, the Quarry is now a nature reserve under the protection of the Northumberland Wildlife Trust.

Craster Harbour

However, it is through its smokehouse, that Craster is famous. At the turn of the century, the North Sea was teeming with herring, and some twenty boats supplied four kipper/herring yards in the village. Packing Kippers - Photo by Keith Allardyce Great barrels of best salt herring were regularly exported to countries such as Germany and Russia, and fresh kippers were dispatched to Billingsgate Market. In the season, crews of herring-girls each split and gutted 2,000 fish a day. Today, the smokehouses of L. Robson & Sons remain, and they still smoke in the traditional way over fires of oak sawdust. The quality of taste and texture of Craster's kippers and smoked salmon remains unchallenged, and internationally renowned.

Craster Harbour

A pleasant stroll along the cliff path from Craster are the striking ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle which dominate the immediate horizon. Once a Lancastrian stronghold it suffered enormous damage from gunfire during the War of the Roses. As the waves crash around the rocks below it is easy to imagine the guns roaring and the castle under attack.

Northumberland Book

 

The photographs of Dunstanburgh Castle and The Kipper Packing were taken by Keith Allardyce, and appear in his book 'Northumberland - A Photographer's View'.

They are reproduced here by his kind permission.



L. Robson & Sons Ltd. Craster, Northumberland, NE66 3TR
Tel: 01665 576223 Fax: 01665 576044 E-mail: admin@kipper.co.uk
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