A BATHING place advancing into celebrity, is in the
parish of its name, pleasantly situate on the western shore of Ayrshire,
on an accessible point of the coast, and only a mile west of Saltcoats,
which occupies another promontory; it is 74 miles sw of Edinburgh, 30
miles sw of Glasgow, 25 miles ssw of Paisley, and 8 w by n of Irvine. This
place, though but yet in a state of infancy, bids fair to rivalsome of the
longer established watering places, and has already become a favourable
resort, in the bathing season, for the genteel families of Ayrshire and
other places - who can be accommodated with neat and commodious houses or
It is chiefly indebted for its existance to the noble family of Eglintoun,
who had formerly a castle of great strength and extent in the vicinity,
but which is now in ruins. A large and elegant hotel, with a suite of warm
and cold baths, was erected by the late Lord Eglintoun, at an expense of
£10 000. The public rooms, the bed rooms, offices and stabling are most
commodious. This establishment is conducted by Mr Robert Young, in a
manner highly creditable to himself, and satisfactory to its numerous
The harbour was commenced nearly thirty years ago, under the auspices of
the before-named munificent patron, who expended nearly £90000, upon it,
and became the sole proprietor both of it and the town, as well as the
extensive barony of Ardrossan. The tide harbour will contain from fifty to
sixty vessels. The dock occupies an extent of seven Scots acres, and will
admit fifty vessels of from three to six hundred tons burden. It was
originally intended to form a communication between this harbour and
Glasgow, by means of a canal, the completion of which, owing to some legal
points, has been for some time suspended. An act of Parliament was
obtained, in 1827, for making a railway between Ardrossan and Johnstone,
but as yet it has only been finished to Kilwinning, a distance of six
miles; a branch of four miles has also been made to the Elgintoun coal
fields. The principal traffic is in coal and stone, which are shipped here
, chiefly to Ireland.
A considerable trade is also carried on in the conveyance of passengers
along the railway; during the year ending September 31st, 1835, upwards of
21,000 persons were so conveyed, and there was a great increase in the
ensuing year. It is anticipated that a railway communication will soon be
established with Glasgow, Paisley and the immediate towns, by means of a
junction with the Glasgow and Ayrshire railway, which, it is expected,
will be shortly commenced. In the neighbourhood is a chalybeate (?)
spring, whose medicinal properties are beneficial in cases of debility,
scrofula (?) &c. The picturesque ruins of Ardrossan castle stand on an
eminence, overlooking the town. An agricultural society has been formed
here, and a coursing club established. Post Office, Elizabeth Reid, Post
Mistress - Letters from Saltcoats, Irvine, Kilmarnock, &c arrive every
morning at half past nine, and are despatched every afternoon at three.
Books about Ardrossan:
Old Ardrossan by R. & M. McSherry.
Pictorial booklet old photographs (50) 1996
Down The Bath Rock. by Patrick O'Connor (1971) Publishers Gill
& Macmillan Ltd.
Dublin. Patrick's recollections of Ardrossan and the Irish immigrant families
living there during the early 1900s
In a Marmalade Saloon.
by Patrick O'Connor.
Patrick's second book about growing up
Ardrossan Memories. by Tom Wallace. Photocopy at Ardrossan
Ardrossan Shipyards. Struggle for Survival 1825-1983 by
Catriona Levy & Ardrossan
Local History Workshop.
who lives locally has published three books relating to the town's maritime