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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fort Matilda is a suburb at the far western edge of Greenock, Scotland. Its name comes from a coastal battery built on Whiteforeland Point 1814–1819 to defend the River Clyde.[1]


The Fort Matilda area of Greenock, with the River Clyde behind
The Fort Matilda area of Greenock, with the River Clyde behind

In 1862 the Confederate paddle steamer Iona I collided with Chanticleer and sank off Fort Matilda. There was no loss of life. The site of the wreck is designated as a Historic Marine Protected Area.[2]

Fort Matilda Station
Fort Matilda Station

The suburb is served by Fort Matilda railway station which was built for the Caledonian Railway in 1889.[1][3]

In the 1890s the fort was renovated with the addition of a pier to support a minefield which had been built offshore, and refurbished again in 1902–1904.[1][4]

A Royal Naval Torpedo Factory was opened in Fort Matilda in 1910–1912 which was designed to be the principal centre of torpedo manufacture and development in Britain.[5] The location sits on the opposite side of the River Clyde from the Holy Loch which was used as a torpedo testing range.[6] The pier at Fort Matilda was widely used by the United States Navy as an unloading point for supplies destined for the base on the Holy Loch.[7]

During World War I the military base was the headquarters of the Renfrewshire Fortress Engineers.[8] The fort was demolished shortly before to World War II[1] and the torpedo factory closed in 1951 when production was moved to Alexandria.[5]


Today Fort Matilda is a mostly residential suburb of villas and town houses between Greenock and Gourock town centres.[9][10] It is home to the largest confectionery factory in Scotland, Buchanan's,[11] Greenock Wanderers rugby club,[12] and the Royal West of Scotland Amateur boating club.[13] Battery Park in the area also plays host to the Gourock Highland Games.[14]


  1. ^ a b c d "Fort Matilda". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  2. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "Iona I (HMPA8)". Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  3. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "Fort Matilda Railway Station (LB34174)". Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  4. ^ "Greenock, Whiteforeland Point, Hms Dalriada, Pier | Canmore". Retrieved 2020-03-05.
  5. ^ a b Historic Environment Scotland. "Eldon Street, Former Torpedo Works at Fort Matilda Industrial Estate  (Category B Listed Building) (LB50579)". Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  6. ^ Donald, Stuart (2001). Stuart Donald's complete new tales of Para Handy : the continued voyages of the Vital Spark : chronicled with affection, acknowledgement and apology to Neil Munro. Glasgow: Vital Spark. ISBN 978-1-906476-48-9. OCLC 782860911.
  7. ^ McGinn, Keith (2011). Last of the puffermen : the real world of Para Handy. Glasgow: Neil Wilson Publishing. ISBN 978-1-906476-41-0. OCLC 779139905.
  8. ^ Westlake, Ray. The Territorials : 1908–1914 : a guide for military and family historians. Barnsley, South Yorkshire. ISBN 978-1-84468-656-8. OCLC 861517021.
  9. ^ Greenock, Larges & Millport, Ordnance Survey, Great Britain, November 2006, ISBN 978-0-319-23871-4, OCLC 1043236344
  10. ^ Gray, Daniel. (2013). Stramash!: Tackling Scotland's Towns and Teams. New York: Luath Press Ltd. ISBN 978-1-909912-28-1. OCLC 854521265.
  11. ^ golden. "BUCHANAN'S". Golden Casket. Retrieved 2020-03-05.
  12. ^ "HOME". Greenock Wanderers. Retrieved 2020-03-05.
  13. ^ "Royal West of Scotland Amateur Boat Club: Sea Kayaking, Canoeing, Rowing, Sailing". Retrieved 2020-03-05.
  14. ^ "Inverclyde Council | Gourock Highland Games 2019". Retrieved 2020-03-05.

This page was last edited on 2 November 2020, at 20:10
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