One of the Three Towns of North Ayrshire, Stevenston is situated adjacent to Saltcoats and 2 miles (3 km) east of Ardrossan. Stevenston was certainly in existence by the 13th Century while the area was probably settled in prehistoric times, as suggested by archaeological studies.
The town is strongly associated with the industrial area of Ardeer on a peninsula west of the mouth of the River Garnock. Coal was worked in the area since the 17th century but in 1851 the area was developed by Alfred Nobel who erected a dynamite factory here. In 1851 an ironworks was established, and there have been works for making chemicals (for plastics, explosives, fertilizers, etc.), silicone and nylon.
There is a railway station at Stevenston.