Shipbuilding History

The River Clyde’s shipbuilding history is one of the most significant and influential in the world, with a heritage that spans centuries. This rich legacy of naval and merchant shipbuilding on the Clyde has shaped the course of maritime history, producing some of the most important vessels in history. As such, it is crucial that this heritage is preserved, celebrated, and studied to provide insight into the past and inspire future generations of innovators and designers.

The Clyde’s shipbuilding history is closely linked with the country’s naval defence. During the First and Second World Wars, the Clyde was a crucial hub for naval shipbuilding, with numerous warships built on its shores. The contribution of the Clyde to the country’s defence was instrumental in the Allied victory in both conflicts. Today, the Clyde’s legacy is still evident in the Royal Navy’s order of warships. Many of the ships built on the Clyde have served in the Royal Navy and continue to serve as a vital part of the country’s naval defence. The Clyde’s contribution to the development of cutting-edge naval technologies, such as radar and sonar, was also significant and continues to shape the course of modern naval warfare.

The Clyde’s shipbuilding heritage is also of significant importance to the merchant navy. The Clyde’s shipyards were at the forefront of steamship technology in the 19th century, producing some of the most advanced and innovative vessels of their time. These vessels revolutionized global trade and transformed the world’s economy. The Clyde’s shipbuilding industry also contributed to the development of ship propulsion technologies, including the first use of diesel engines in a commercial ship. This contribution to the development of new technologies continues to shape the course of global shipping today.

Overall, the preservation of the River Clyde’s shipbuilding heritage is of crucial importance for the Royal Navy, the merchant navy, and the wider public. It provides an insight into the past and a platform for innovation and design in the future. It is therefore essential that we continue to celebrate and preserve this rich legacy for future generations. The Clyde Naval Heritage project is a vital initiative in this regard, providing a platform to showcase the Clyde’s shipbuilding history and inspire future generations to take an active interest in the industry’s legacy.


Our mission at Clyde Naval Heritage is to preserve and celebrate the rich heritage of the River Clyde’s shipbuilding industry, highlighting the contributions of the industry to the development of both Merchant and Royal Navy ships. Through education and collaboration, we aim to inspire future generations to continue the legacy of innovation and excellence.


Our vision at Clyde Naval Heritage is to create a dynamic and interactive space that celebrates the rich history of the River Clyde’s shipbuilding industry, preserving and showcasing the vessels built for both the Merchant and Royal Navy. We aim to inspire visitors and celebrate the region’s unique maritime legacy.