Irvine has a long history of shipbuilding, and young people can find out about the construction and restoration of ships during their visit to the Linthouse Engine Shop. Our stunning Victorian glass—roofed building is often referred to as Scotland’s ‘Cathedral of Engineering’ and was originally part of the Alexander Stephen Shipyard at Linthouse, Govan, Glasgow. Inside the Linthouse Engine Shop can be found much of the Museum’s Collection, and a variety of interesting and different sized vessels are available to view. These include a rare 19th-century galley boat, Lady Guilford, and the RNLI TGB Lifeboat, as well as several unique figureheads from nineteenth-century ships. Just round the corner from the Linthouse, visitors to the Museum can tour the Shipyard Workers Tenement Flat, restored to its late 1920’s appearance, and then walk to the harbourside to tour the historic MV Kyles, built in 1872 and believed to be the oldest surviving coastal vessel of its type afloat in Britain.

A guide for teachers, with links relevant to the Curriculum for Excellence, is available from the Museum. This details the activities programme being offered by the Scottish Maritime Museum which has been designed to enhance students’ learning, either during a visit to the Museum or through ‘outreach’ to schools. Since the Museum focuses primarily on the maritime history of Scotland, our educational activities cover the broad areas of Science, Technology, Expressive Arts and Social Studies.