Irvine Scotland
The Irvine that is

Scottish Maritime Museum

Scottish Maritime Museum

The A-listed 100m Denny Ship Model Experiment Tank forms the centrepiece of the Dumbarton Museum.

The Scottish Maritime Museum is an industrial museum with a collection recognised as Nationally Significant to Scotland.[1] It is located at two sites in the West of Scotland in Irvine and Dumbarton, with a focus on Scotland's shipbuilding heritage. A third museum, Clydebuilt at Braehead, originally opened in 1999 but was closed in October 2010 due to lack of funding.[2]

Early side-lever engine designed by Robert Napier, from PS Leven (1823), on display at Dumbarton

Irvine - The Linthouse

The A-listed Linthouse Engine building forms the main exhibition hall at the Irvine Museum.
City of Adelaide at the Irvine museum in April 2005. Controversy surrounded funding her restoration for over a decade. She was eventually relocated to Adelaide, South Australia, in 2013.

The museum's Linthouse building is located at Irvine Harbour, situated within the category A listed former Engine Shop of Alexander Stephen and Sons, which was salvaged and relocated from their derelict Linthouse shipyard in Glasgow in 1991.[3] The Linthouse engineering shop is now home a collection of significant vessels including MV Kyles[4] and MV Spartan[5] which are listed on the National Historic Ships UK register. A highly significant vessel built of iron in 1872 in Paisley, MV Kyles is the oldest iron Clyde built vessel still afloat in the UK.[6] The museum also has a collection of marine engines and industrial machine tools, and owns a recreated 1920s worker's tenement flat at Irvine Harbour. The museum also has a significant collection of artwork funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.[7]

Dumbarton - Denny Ship Model Experiment Tank

The Denny Ship Model Experiment Tank, in Dumbarton, focuses on the world of the naval architect. Shipbuilder William Denny Jr of William Denny and Brothers was inspired by the work of eminent naval architect William Froude and completed the tank for his shipyard in 1883. It was the world's first commercial example of a ship testing tank. Re-opened as a museum in 1982, it retains many of its original features, including the original 100-meter-long tank. The museum also tells the story of the test tank's original owners, William Denny and Brothers of Dumbarton, one of the most innovative shipbuilding companies in the world until their closure in 1963.

Braehead - Clydebuilt

The MV Kyles, at the Braehead museum, is the oldest iron Clyde built vessel still afloat in the UK.

Closed since 16 October 2010, the Braehead museum was located on the south bank of the River Clyde at Braehead, Clydebuilt explored the industrial development of Glasgow and the River Clyde from 1700 to the present day. Opened in September 1999, it told of what was built on the Clyde and how the River Clyde itself was 'built'.[8]

The Clydebuilt Museum was closed on 16 October 2010, after Capital Shopping Centres withdrew an annual subsidy that was an original condition of planning permission for Braehead Shopping Centre. The building is now occupied by a Krispy Kreme doughnut store which opened on 2 December 2015.

Trust Structure

The museum is operated by a charitable trust: the Scottish Maritime Museum Trust. It includes in its founding and continuing partners North Ayrshire Council (formerly Cunninghame District Council) and became operational in 1983.[9] The first trust chairperson was Clydeside shipbuilder Ross Belch who held the post until 1998[10] The trust includes Scottish industrial historian John R. Hume among its trustees.[11] The founding Director was Dr Henry C. McMurray.[12]


See also


  1. ^ "Scotland has 47 Recognised Collections of National Significance". Museum Galleries Scotland. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  2. ^ The Scottish Government News - Scottish Maritime Museum
  3. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "Gottries Road, Linthouse Building, Scottish Maritime Museum  (Category A) (LB35450)". Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  4. ^ "Kyles | National Historic Ships". Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  5. ^ "Spartan | National Historic Ships". Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  6. ^ "Clydebuilt, Braehead". Scottish Maritime Museum. Retrieved 5 April 2010.
  7. ^ "Scottish Maritime Museum | Art UK". Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  8. ^ Clydebuilt Maritime Heritage Centre
  9. ^ Dr Henry C McMurray, BA, MSc, Eon, OBE entry in Trustee list of the SS Great Britain confirms 1983 date, retrieved 22 July 2013.
  10. ^ Glasgow Herald obituary to Sir Ross Belch of 27 March 1999 retrieved 22 July 2013 confirms his role.
  11. ^ Who's who in the Museums and Attractions Partnership retrieved 22 July 2013.
  12. ^ Trustees of the SS Great Britain retrieved 22 July 2013.

Further reading

  • Douglas McGowan, Clydebuilt: A Photographic Legacy, 2005, Tempus Publishing, ISBN 0-7524-3228-1
  • John Shields, Clyde Built: A History of Shipbuilding on the River Clyde, 1949, William MacLellan

External links

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