Portavogie comes from the Irish “Port a’ Bhogaigh“, meaning ‘harbour of the bog’ and is the most easterly settlement on the Island of Ireland. The bog referred to is the Ards peninsula, which pre-medieval times was a pretty inhospitable place with limited military or trade use. Boats were able to land on the shores slightly to the north of Portavogie, but over time via the establishment of the church and through the activities of the local families, Portavogie started to develop its own roots.
Whilst, similar to Kilkeel and Ardglass, piers were first constructed in Victoria times to give basic shelter to boats, the first recognised harbour in Portavogies didn’t appear until 1955. The new harbour was opened 30 years later in 1985.