Clyde marina 18th century

Clyde Marina History

Ardrossan quickly developed during the 18th & 19th centuries and is probably best known as a port; coal and iron were exported to Europe & North America as well as Ireland for many years.

Shipbuilding was one of Ardrossan's important industries. Many local firms were involved in building wooden ships, used as fishing vessels or cargo boats. Unfortunately due to competition from abroad, Ardrossan's shipbuilding industry almost ceased to exist after the 1950s.

Passenger boat services to Arran started in 1834, with the Irish passenger ship Gloworm starting in 1884. Isle of Man services commenced in 1892.

In 1796 Hugh, Earl of Eglinton had ambitious plans for Ardrossan. His vision was a town with wide streets and good housing. He also wanted to build a harbour and a canal to connect to Glasgow. When Hugh died in 1819, the work had been in progress for 13 years, but was incomplete. Work on the harbour was eventually completed in 1864. Hugh's dream of a canal linking Ardrossan to Glasgow was never realised.

Ardrossan town grew as a result of the harbour and became a Burgh of Barony in 1846 with a Provost, magistrates and commissioners. In 1886 the Ardrossan Harbour Company was formed to deal with the huge increase in use of the harbour. The company built the Eglinton dock in 1892 along with the existing breakwater.

Ardrossan continued to flourish into the 20th century with new manufacturing industries - the Shell-Mex refinery, Metallic Manufacturing and the Winton Foundry to name but a few.

With running down of many of the traditional industries Ardrossans harbour also declined in later half of the 20th century, until the establishment of the marina in 1997 transformed the Eglinton basin from an out of work commercial dock into the now vibrant marina and boatyard and beginning a new chapter in Ardrossans maritime history.


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