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Millport


North Ayrshire

A resort town on the south coast of the island of Great Cumbrae in the Firth of Clyde, Millport is the only settlement of any size in the isles of Cumbrae. It developed from the former settlements of Kirkton and Kames in the 18th century after the building in 1745 of a barracks known as The Garrison commanding the approaches to the Firth of Clyde to defeat smugglers. This building later became a summer home for the Earls of Glasgow, who were the Lairds of the Cumbraes. From the 1830s Millport expanded in association with steamer trade bring tourists. Its position as a holiday resort has declined from its peak in the 1950s, but still attracts holiday-makers in the summer months as well as those retiring from elsewhere in Scotland. Millport Bay is popular with visiting yachts and there is a small boatyard to the west of the town. Millport is acknowledged by the Guinness Book of Records as having the house with the world's narrowest frontage, known as The Wedge it measures just 1.19 m (47 inches) at the front, but widens to the rear.

The Episcopal Cathedral of the Isles, built in 1849 and consecrated in 1876, is said to be the smallest cathedral in Europe. The Keppel Pier (1888), near the Marine Biological Station, was the scene of the official welcome home in July 1904 of the SY Scotia, the research ship of the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition.

There is a Country and Western Festival held annually in the first week of September. Millport becomes Seaport in the Hollow Earth books by actor John Barrowman and his sister Carole, based around their childhood holidays on Great Cumbrae, which is renamed Auchinmurn. Famous residents of Millport include the explorer Andrew Goldie (1840-91) and actor Duncan Macrae (1905-67).


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