Place:Ardrossan, Ayrshire, Scotland

NameArdrossan
TypeParish, Town
Coordinates55.65°N 4.817°W
Located inAyrshire, Scotland     (1734 - 1975)
See alsoStrathclyde, Scotlandregional administration 1975-1996
North Ayrshire, Scotlandunitary Council Area since 1996
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Ardrossan (Gaelic: Àird Rosain) is a town on the North Ayrshire coast in south-western Scotland. The name "Ardrossan" describes its physical position — 'ard' from the Gaelic àird meaning headland, 'ros' a promontory and the diminutive suffix '-an' - headland of the little promontory. Ardrossan is becoming an affluent commuter town with a population of roughly 11,000 and is in a three-towns corroboration act with the nearby towns of Saltcoats and Stevenston.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Ardrossan's roots can be traced back to the construction of its castle 'Cannon Hill', thought to be in around 1140, by Simon de Morville. The castle and estate passed onto the Barclay family (also known as Craig) and it passed through successive heirs until the 14th century. Then it passed onto the Eglinton family on the death of Godfrey Barclay de Ardrossan, who died without leaving an heir. Sir Fergus Barclay, Baron of Ardrossan was said to be in league with the Devil and in one of his dealings, he set the task for the Devil to make ropes from sand; upon failing to do so, Satan kicked the castle with his hoof in frustration and left a petrosomatoglyph hoofprint.


The castle stood until 1648, when Oliver Cromwell's troops had it destroyed, taking much of the stonework to Ayr to build the fort there. The ruins still stand, but are overgrown and in a dangerous condition.

Ardrossan developed quickly during the 18th and 19th centuries thanks to its position on the coast. Exports of coal and pig iron to Europe and North America were the main trade from the town's port, which became a centre for shipbuilding. Fishing vessels and small cargo boats were the mainstay of the shipyard until the 1950s, when the yard all but ceased to exist as a result of foreign competition. A smaller yard, McCrindle's, operated until the 1980s before it ceased trading.

Passenger services from Ardrossan harbour to Brodick on the Isle of Arran started in 1834, and services to Belfast in Ireland (later Northern Ireland) and the Isle of Man followed in 1884 and 1892 respectively. Clyde sailings were operated initially by the Glasgow and South Western Railway Company from Winton Pier and the Caledonian Railway from Montgomerie Pier. The Earl of Eglinton's ambitious plan for a canal link to Glasgow was never realised.

Between 1841 and 1848 Ardrossan was a part of the "West Coast Main Line" equivalent of its time. The fastest route from London to Glasgow was by train to , and thence by packet boat to Ardrossan. After 1848 the entire journey could be made by rail, avoiding Ardrossan. The link to the Isle of Man no longer operates, having first been moved to Stranraer, then all Scottish services terminated altogether. Shell-Mex developed an oil refinery in Ardrossan from a World War II aviation-fuel canning factory, and the harbour was expanded for the company's tanker ships to berth. Local residents blocked plans in the 1960s for further expansion of the refinery, limiting the operations that could be carried out there. Operations at Shell-Mex ceased in 1986.

The harbour has been substantially redeveloped as a marina, and the passenger and vehicle ferry to Brodick is still operated by Caledonian MacBrayne.

Ardrossan became a burgh, in 1846, with a provost, magistrates and commissioners. Its burgh status was lost in 1974 on the formation of Strathclyde Regional Council, whereupon it came under Cunninghame District. It is now part of North Ayrshire, created as a unitary authority in 1996.

Since 2006 Ardrossan has been part of a regeneration area, overseen by the Irvine Bay Regeneration Company. Their vision for Ardrossan is as a gateway to Arran and a good place to live and relax next to the sea in a regenerated town centre serving the existing and incoming community. This has started to be achieved through renewal of the town centre, which includes A derelict office in Princes Street which has been turned into two modern shops. The former Jack Miller's Hotel building at 78 Princes Street has been redeveloped and the refurbished building was completed in autumn 2010 and has been let out and is now open as an art gallery and artists studio space called Phoenix [1] The Studio displays Scottish Art as well as holding art classes and demonstrations. The old pumphouse has also been transformed into a popular contemporary Italian restaurant cecchinis [2]. The future development of the harbourside in a co-ordinated and overall plan. The Ardrossan North Shore project is now taking shape, which includes the redevelopment of the oil refinery site and the extension of the marina.

Research Tips

Sources for Old Parish Registers Records, Vital Records and Censuses

  • Scotland's People This is a pay website providing vital statistics and census data for all of Scotland with original images. There is a description at Scotland under Genealogical Resources.

Notes for Ayrshire

Family History Societies covering Ayrshire include:

  • the Ayrshire Federation of Historical Societies, Dennison House, 11 Chalmers Road, Ayr KA7 2RQ, Scotland.
  • The FreeCen Project has a searchable (not browsable) transcription of the whole of Ayrshire online for the 1841 and 1851 censuses.
  • Third Statistical Account of Scotland: Ayrshire edited by John Strawhorn and William Boyd, 1951.

Old Parish Register Provision

Births: 1734-1854
Marriages:1738-1854
Deaths: no entries

Transcriptions of Gravestone Inscriptions

Angus Mitchells's Burial Grounds in Scotland: An Index of Unpublished Memorial Inscriptions Scottish Genealogy Society, first published 1991; lists in their collection of Memorial Inscriptions some for Ardrossan:

  • Ardrossan Cemetery, 4,085 gravestones (all at time of recording)
  • Castlehill (Ardrossan Old) - 36 stones (all at time of recording)

Further Sources of Reference

Please note and respect the copyright warnings on these websites.

  • GENUKI article on Ayrshire. The bibliography for Ayrshire is very good.
  • The Gazetteer for Scotland article on the parish of Ardrossan. The tabs on the right provide more information, and a map of the parish within its surrounding area, with small settlements highlighted and linked to more information.
  • The FamilySearch Wiki article on Ardrossan provides direct reference to FamilySearch holdings on many topics with respect to the parish.
  • The National Library of Scotland have a website devoted to maps from the 1600s right up to the present. Comparisons of modern-day and old maps of the same place can be made. From the home page click on "Find by place" and then follow the instructions on the next page. Once you are viewing the place you want, use the slider <----> at the top of the map to compare the layout of roads and the place names of smaller areas, perhaps even farms, with the landscape today. The website takes some getting used to. The One-inch 2nd edition, Scotland, 1898-1904 OS is a series of maps with the parishes delineated. Each of these maps cover an area of 18 x 24 miles and will zoom to comfortable reading size with a couple of mouse clicks on the map itself. Unfortunately, they are not geo-referenced, and it is necessary to go to the OS One Inch 1885-1900 series to locate places by latitude and longitude.
  • The Statistical Accounts for Scotland In the 1790s and again in the 1830s, the ministers of the all the parishes of the Church of Scotland were asked to provide a description of their parish to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. The original account request included 160 questions to be answered. These accounts are available in print in 20 volumes and are also online where it is freely available to browse. The browsing portal is below the viewing area of most computer screens. Scroll down to "For non-subscribers" and click on "Browse scanned pages". This brings you to another page on which one can enter the name of the parish in which you are interested.
  • Excerpts from The Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885 are provided by Scottish Places. Selections from Groome and other gazetteers from the 19th century are also found on GENUKI.


This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Ardrossan. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.