Harbour Pilot House (Former), Beach Drive, Irvine

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Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved. © Copyright and database right 2019.

General Details and Location

Name of Building
Harbour Pilot House (Former)
Other Name(s)
Automatic Tide Marker Station
Beach Drive, Irvine
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
Listing Category
OS Grid Ref
NS 30387 37971
Location Type
HS Reference No


4-storey, square tower, monitoring station. Rubble stone, rendered and lined as ashlar, wallhead cornice. Principal elevation (west): window to each floor off-set to left, lamp openings with flat hoods to centre 4 cast-iron grilles to right. 4, 6 and 18-pane windows, roofless design, mast and rigging rising from centre of tower, cast-iron hoppers and downpipes at ground floor to E.

Built to house 'Boyd's Automatic System' for indicating the depth of water at the bar, patented by the Harbour Master, Martin Boyd, in 1904. (Historic Scotland)
Building Dates

Category of Risk and Development History

Category of Risk
Exemptions to State of Risk
Field Visits
02/09/2009, 06/03/2012, 15/10/2014, 15/10/2019
Development History
September 2009: External inspection reveals that the structure is vacant and in a neglected condition. The large signal mast, which once rose from the centre of the tower, has been dismantled. Several window panes have been smashed and there is a breach in the surrounding security fence.
November 2009: Local planners report that the structure is within the boundary of the Irvine Harbourside Masterplan application which includes refurbishment of the coastal watch tower.
March 2012: External inspection finds no significant change since the previous site visit. Full Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent for change of use to observation tower incorporating a meeting room, were conditionally granted June 2006 ref: 06/00183/PP and 06/00184/LBC.
23 August 2013: A member of the public advises North Ayrshire Council and The Harbour Regeneration group are clearing/tidying the site so that Coastwatch Scotland Irvine can lease the property. The plan is to refurbish the Pilot House into a coastal watch tower. Volunteers are being trained just now to become watch officers and provide safety on the coast and surrounding areas.
30 October 2013: Coastwatch Scotland Irvine advise the building is being cleared of rubbish and pigeon guano and steel shutters will be fixed to all windows to protect against pigeon infestation. A structural survey will be conducted within the next few weeks and the CWS will begin discussions with NAC to acquire the lease to refurbish the building and turn it into a watch tower on the top floor. The second top floor will become a viewing area for wildlife. The next floor down will be a meeting room and also have pictures showing the Tower as it was. The ground floor will become a First Aid Station.
15 October 2014: External inspection finds the building remains in much the same condition as seen previously. Window openings have now been meshed.
15 October 2019: External inspection finds the building has been repainted and windows replaced since the previous visit. The site is well secured and is understood to be partly in use.

Guides to Development

Conservation Area
Planning Authority Contact
PAC Telephone Number
01294 324319


Current Availability
Not Available
Appointed Agents
Occupancy Type
Present/Former Uses
Name of Owners
Unverified see FAQ on ascertaining ownership
Type of Ownership

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
Close, R. Ayrshire & Arran (RIAS), 1992, p.60. J Strawhorn, THE HISTORY OF IRVINE, ROYAL BURGH AND NEW TOWN.
Online Resources
Original Entry Date
Date of Last Edit