During the Smuggling era many of the older houses at the harbour area along Titchfield Road, Welbeck Crescent and Templehill, had basements dug out to store contraband. These were called 'Brandy Pots' or 'Safe Houses'. Luggers, skippered by expert locals, would work their way through the dangerous rocks on this stretch of coast to land at Port Ronald and Betsy's Kim. The illicit goods would be quickly stowed away in the chambers beneath the houses. The tenement basements honeycombed with passages and secret holes became dangerous and later had to be bricked up.


The Ballastbank is now an accidental relic. It was first started in early 1800's as a site to dump the spoil from the new harbour being excavated by the Duke of Portland. The spoil was mixed with the ballast brought in on ships arriving to pick up coal. It is now one of Troon's distinctive landmarks enjoyed by locals and visitors as a pleasant walk and viewpoint over the Firth of Clyde.


Troon Harbour was in use from around the 17th century initially as a backup sea port for Irvine. Expansion took place in 1812 when the first railway was installed. A tramway of iron rails was laid on blocks of stone and horses pulled the wagons of coal from Kilmarnock and other parts of Ayrshire to Troon. Passenger coaches were added in 1814. A steam locomotive, the first in Scotland and built by Stephenson, was brought to Kilmarnock and started operating in 1816. 'The Duke' had to be taken out of service because its weight broke the cast iron rails. Fitted with wooden wheels, it ran until it was broken up for scrap around 1840. The coal industry was the foundation of the Troon of today. Marine related industries were developed such as the rope works and sail makers when shipbuilding started in Troon in 1810. The yard produced fine ships that gained a worldwide reputation for speed and design. Troon Sawmill opened in 1856 and is still working today.

ooCommodities came through Troon Harbour from all over the world. People would board ships en route to places oolike Brazil, Canada, New Zealand and The Americas searching for a new life.


The name originated from an octagonal domed roofed building at the top of the hill overlooking the harbour area. The design of the 'Temple on the Hill' or 'Fullarton's Folly' was inspired from the Colonel's memories of India. The pagoda or temple shaped roof supported by eight pillars was an observatory and bore the Latin inscription 'Built to Bacchus for friends and for leisure', Bacchus being the mythological god of wine. It was later removed to make way for a new harbour road.


In September 1811, John Samson, a grocer, publicly announced his takeover of a lease fro the 'Pan Rocks Salt Boiling Works' from the Duke of Portland to produce and supply 'Quality Fine Salt'. The Salt Pans, built on the north side of the town near Barassie Street, went into decline when the government in 1825 abolished the duty on salt. Finer and cheaper salt from Cheshire meant the end of Troon's Salt pans.


Darley School in the cottages at Marr College playing fields, was possibly the first school in the town serving pupils from Troon and Loans. St. Patrick's School in Academy Street started in the Church building in 1853 moving to another in 1886 and again in 1997 when the new St. Patrick's Primary was built on the same site. When 'The Wee School', the original Troon Primary in Church Street, became too small for the rising population, Fullarton School, 'The Big School', the present Troon Primary was built in 1900. Charles K. Marr who was born in Welbeck Crescent, left his considerable fortune for the educational benefits of the people of Troon. Marr College the most important legacy, was completed in the 1930's

Designed on a square shaped structure of outstanding architecture, it is topped by a distinctive copper dome and is now a famous landmark in Troon. Disputes over the charitable purpose in C. K. Marr's will delayed the opening of the college until 1937. Over the years the C.K. Marr Trust has helped Troon students of all ages to further their education. The C. K. Marr Educational Resources Centre financed by the C. K. Marr Trust, is a modern testament to this benefactors wishes as set out in his will when he died in 1919.