Town Trail starts on the promenade at the Stanley Burn, which is the
boundary of the town. Facing the sea front is St. Andrews
Episcopal Church, opened in 1874 and adjacent is St. Peters
R. C. School, formerly Ardrossan Academy.
along the promenade notice the large mansions of the early 1800's,
built for the business men and merchants of that era. One in
particular, the Verona Fathers house No. 8, was originally
the home of Hugh
shipping magnate and founder of the Baron Shipping Line. Next door
to No. 8 stands the Church of Scotland retirement home.
along is the 1914 - 1918 war memorial designed by
Dr. Macgregor Chalmers,
a Glasgow architect and his successor,
Mr J. Jeffry Waddell
who finished the work upon Dr. Chalmers' untimely death. The
memorial, where the names of the fallen of the town are recorded,
was sculpted by Mr.
James A. Young
of Glasgow and its erection was supervised by ex Bailie John
builder from Ardrossan. Depicted in the stonework are some
personalities from Scottish History.
the road at the foot of the castle stands St Peters R.C. Church.
This fine brick red building is one of the finest examples of modern
Church Building. Its architect, Jack
won an award for its design. The church was built in 1938 and stands
on the site of the Earl of Eglinton's former mansion The Pavilion
which was built in 1831.
the end of the promenade surrounded by a modern housing complex for
the elderly stands Bath Villa. This building along with
another (since demolished) was formerly a hydropathic bathing
facility built by the 12th Earl
of Eglinton in 1807 where hot and cold, fresh and salt bathing
was provided. Accommodation was also provided for a few guests.
the road stands the Barony/St. Johns Church which became a
United charge in 1988. The church was built in 1844 as the "New
Parish Church" and after the reunion of the Church of Scotland
it became known as the "Barony Church of Scotland".
along Princes Street, just before the level crossing, a road
leads down To Battery Point and the Inches where the
in the Late 1800's fired off their practice guns to sea. The Inches
yard was the site of Christie's yard complex where
railway sleepers were produced and stored The complex was gutted by
a huge fire in 1913 which caused the firm to cease manufacture. The
Inches was then occupied by Ardrossan Ship-building Co. who
built vessels up to 6,000 tons from 1920 - 30 when the yard closed
down due to the Depression. During the 39-45 war the Inches was the
site of an Air Ministry factory for canning aviation petrol and
managed by the Shell Mex.
the level crossing the former town station is now a platform halt.
Opposite stands the Bank of Scotland which was originally the
building of the City of Glasgow Bank and then the Union Bank before
its present owners took over.
the town cross turn left at the Masonic Hall into Harbour
Road and go to the Arran Ferry Terminal and Lighthouse pier. The
terminal is also the site of the old dock gate which led into the
original dock and shipyard before the dock was infilled. The
lighthouse pier was also the site of the R.N.L.I lifeboat house. The
R.N.L.I. lifeboat was manned mostly by dockworkers.The first boat
"The Fair Maid of Perth" rescued 53 people between 1870
-1892, and the total rescued over 60 years was 172.
car park was the site of the Christie Saw Mills where
sleepers were cut and soaked in creosote. The timber was brought in
from the Baltic and was then used in Britain as well as being sent
far as India, Africa and the Middle East for the laying of the
world's railway networks. N.B. A full history of the harbour and
shipyard is available in two publications by the local History Group
from the local Library.
from the harbour by the Dock Road. The Eglinton Dock
is on the left. In the heyday of the harbour this was a very busy
dock being the first deep water port for ships coming from America.
adjoining Montgomerie Pier was a dual purpose pier. As well
as being a railway terminus for passengers to the Isle of Man, Arran
and Ireland, the outside berth was used by Shell Mex Company to
berth oil tankers up to 11,000 tons. Operations at Ardrossan closed
up to the cross turn left at the resources Centre formerly
the Bank of Scotland, past the library on the right and the Eglinton
Hotel on the left (this was recently destroyed by
fire) . It was originally built by the 12th Earl
of Eglinton in
1813 at a cost of £10,000 as a commercial hotel when Ardrossan was
potentially the foremost port on the Clyde.
right past the library continue up Montgomerie Street which
was at one time a street of large houses for the professional and
business people of the early town. The site of the Coastguard
Centre adjacent to the Fire Station used to contain a large
mansion Kilmahew House which was built by John
Barr, the first
provost of the town. Although there was initial resistance to the
awarding of Burgh status, when it became a Burgh in 1846, John Barr
became Provost and stayed in office for 37 years continuously. The
right into Barr Street, look across Glasgow Street to
the Civic Centre or Castlecraigs. This turreted building was
originally known as Graham's Castle having been built in 1851
gentleman from the North of Scotland. It was subsequently owned by
Archibald Russell and
his heirs from 1893 - 1920 when it was bought by Ardrossan
Dockyard Co. They built on a recreation hall and tennis courts.
In 1927 the Masons bought the complex and let out the ancillary
rooms and tennis courts until the 1939 - 45 war when the Navy
requisitioned Castlecraigs as a barracks.
leaving Barr Street, notice the site on the left hand corner with
Montgomerie Street where the St. John's Church of Scotland once
stood. This church was built in 1859 as the Free Church before
joining the Church of Scotland in 1929.
Glasgow Street pass by the Indoor Bowling Centre to Hill Place,
thence up to Castle Hill by the side of the Church of Nazarene,
which was formerly the Park Church of Scotland.
the North of the hill the remains of the foundation of the first Ardrossan
Parish Church and graveyard are visible. The
church dates from pre-reformation times and is probably as old as
the castle itself. An early stone sarcophagus from the ruins can be
seen in the North Ayrshire Museum in Saltcoats. The church was used
by the Reformed Discipline until it was blown down by a hurricane in
new church was erected approximately 1 mile to the N.E., on the
area, at present a children's playground, on Stanley Road and
near the Clachan of Stanley which was sited at the corner of
Millglen Road and Stanley Road. The church was taken down in 1744
and rebuilt in Saltcoats.
castle, now a ruin, dates back to about 1150. The Norman knight,
it on to the de Barclay Family. In the early 13th century the lands
came to Arthur
after which a succession of knights became heirs.
the War of Independence the ownership of the castle was in
contention; The de
were thought to be backing both sides. The king gave the lands of
Ardrossan to various English families such as the de
Balliol and Sir
but in 1305 Hugh
regained the Barony of Ardrossan. After 1484 the lands of Ardrossan
passed to the Montgomeries (Eglintons) who kept the castle until (it
is alleged) Cromwell's troops sacked and destroyed it during their
punitive campaign 1648 - 1650 when the Eglintons took refuge in Sma'
The Eglintons came back to Ardrossan to live in about 1813 when Lord
Eglinton built The Pavilion mansion as a summer residence on
the site where St.Peter's Church now stands. The Pavilion was
demolished in the early 1930's
monument on the hill was erected by public subscription to Dr.
died in 1849. The Doctor was a greatly respected philanthropist and
tireless physician. He took over the Bath Complex in Princes Street
from the Earl of Eglinton in 1833 and ran it till his death in 1849.
well as entertaining he also catered for the poor and unfortunates
of the town, never charging them any money for the baths and never
turning away anyone in need of a bed. He was also instrumental in
pressing the authorities to install a piped water supply to the
houses of the town. In 1860 this was completed, thus ensuring a
clean supply of water, a welcome improvement from the artesian pumps
which were very often the cause of cholera and other diseases of the
countryside around the town was all owned by the Eglintons. The 10th
Earl was a notable improver of agriculture and had a system of long
dykes to contain his cattle and crops. He met his death on the beach
at the hands of a Saltcoats poacher named Mungo
Campbell when Eglinton challenged him About a hare and demanded
intriguing and ghastly tale of how Mungo Campbell met his sticky end
can be found at Ardrossan Library).
the viewpoint of the hill look down into Glasgow Street at the E.U.
Congregational Church. This finely built Church was
erected in 1903 in the playground of the old infants school which is
now used as the Church Hall. Go down the hill in an eastward
direction, cross the railway footbridge past the bowling green then
turn right to arrive back at the promenade.