Millport, pp.356-357.

[Gazetteer of Scotland Contents]

   MILLPORT, a neat modern village and much frequented bathing- place on the island of Greater Cumbray, Buteshire. It stretches round a pleasantly sheltered small bay at the south end of the island; partly overlooks the Lesser Cumbray, and partly confronts the opening through Fairley road to the vast bay of Ayr or eastern side of the frith of Clyde; and is situated 2½ miles west of the nearest part of the Ayrshire coast, 5 miles south-west of Largs, 11 miles south-east of Rothsay, and 24 miles south of Greenock. Its form is that of the segment of a circle; its houses are almost all neat, two storey, whitewashed structures; its handsome parish-church, surmounted by a low square tower, and apparelled in sober sandstone brown, looks out from an area in the middle of the curve; and the entire appearance of the place is airy, clean, and not a little pleasant. But for a total absence of wood in the environs, the village and its vicinity would be one of the most beautiful places on the Clyde. Yet either the spot itself, or any one of several vantage-grounds in its immediate neighbourhood, commands magnificent views of nearly the whole frith of Clyde, the highly cultivated and richly wooded slopes of the Ayrshire sea-board, thickly embellished with villas and with the body and wings of Fairley and Largs, the spiry and bold mountains of Arran, the gentle and charming coasts of the Isle of Bute, the rugged outlines of the Argyleshire alps, – a tout ensemble of grand and beautiful and picturesquely varied sea and land scenery, always refreshing, and, in certain tintings of the oft-rich drapery above, absolutely thrilling. The harbour of the village, though of small capacity, can contain vessels of considerable burthen; and has a fine pier, erected chiefly at the expense of the Marquis of Bute. The depth, at low-water, is 6 feet, and, at high-water, 14 feet. Immediately adjacent to the harbour is a good anchoring-ground capable of accommodating several ships, fully protected by two islets called the Allans, and affording safety to vessels during the prevalence of the most violent storms. Fifteen or sixteen sloops belong to the place, some carrying so few as 14, and none more than 40 tons each; two steam-boats maintain daily communication with Glasgow and places intermediate; and, since the opening of the Glasgow and Greenock railway, passengers for Glasgow have the option of landing at Greenock, and proceeding thence by railway. Millport depends, to a large extent, for its support on the influx during summer of temporary residents from Glasgow; it wears almost wholly and even characteristically the aspect of a sea-bathing quarter; and it has steadily risen and maintained its footing in popular favour. The operative part of the population are employed either in the fisheries, or in weaving for the manufacturers of Glasgow. The number of looms is about sixty. The village has two day-schools, one of them parochial; two Sabbath-schools, each provided with a small library; a Provident-bank; a Friendly society; a parochial library of considerable variety and extent; and a Bible and Missionary society. Population, in 1840, 932. 

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