Welcome to the oldest pub in Irvine. The Ship Inn is a family run pub restaurant providing traditional Scottish food to a high standard in a relaxed environment.
Built in 1567 of Dundonald whim stone and slate, the original cottage marked the northern boundary of Wallace's Lands. A large paddock was built in 1597 and an extension linking this to the cottage was added in 1650 (see gable above bar). From 1688 - 1707 it was the Burgage cottage collecting customs duty for the Royal Burgh.
After the union of Parliaments it became the Customs House and from 1745 was owned by Charles Hamilton.
In 1750 a new customs house was built further down the Harbour and after a 4 year battle "The Ship Inn" was finally licensed - with a monopoly of liquor sales this side of the river.
The owner Charles Hamilton became Provest of Irvine on six occasions between 1758 - 1786.
His son, John befriended Robert Burns during his stay in Irvine in 1781 and was a subscriber to his Kilmarnock edition of poems.