Ardrossan is thought to have been built
around the first castle built on Castle Hill,
by the present day harbour for Simon de
The first castle is thought to have been
built in the early 1100s. Ardrossan Castle
was enlarged over the following centuries,
with the most work carried out around
The castle fell into disrepair in the late
1500s, then was looted for its stone by
Cromwell's army in 1654, with them using the
stone to help built their vast Citadel at
The town of Saltcoats on the south side of
Ardrossan grew from the 1200s through coal
mining, and using the coal to evaporate
seawater to produce salt.
The port at Ardrossan was built up during
the 1700s and 1800s exporting coal and pig
iron to Europe and North America.
The main structure of the harbour was
completed to what can be seen today in 1864.
Hugh, Earl of Eglinton had began the
extensive work in 1806.
Ardrossan has three train stations, with
the first opened in 1831, linking the town to
Glasgow. One is at the harbour, one in the
town centre close to the harbour, and the
main station is about one mile south of the
harbour named Ardrossan South Beach.
Ferries between Ardrossan and Brodick on
the Isle of Arran began in 1834. A service to
Belfast in Northern Ireland began in 1884,
and a service to the Isle of Man in 1892.
Ardrossan had a number of shipbuilders
with the first opening in the 1840s, with the
last closing in the 1990s. The shipyards
built fishing boats and small cargo
The Belfast and Isle of Man ferry services
stopped in the 1970s.
The Clyde Marina
was built at Ardrossan Harbour around 1997,
with many apartments built around the
A ferry service between Ardrossan and
Cambpeltown on the Mull of Kintyre began in