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Portencross viewed from its pier

Portencross (Scottish Gaelic: Port na Crois) is a hamlet near Farland Head in North Ayrshire, Scotland. Situated about 3 km west of Seamill and about 2 km south of Hunterston B nuclear power station, it is noted for Portencross Castle.

It has two harbours and a pier. The "Old Harbour" is actually a small tidal inlet next to the castle, and is part of the castle property. The larger harbour, "North Harbour", owned by the Portencross Harbour Trust, lies about 100 m north of the castle and was the main access point for fishing activity.[1]

The Portencross Pier was built in the era of Clyde steamer cruising but was never used as much as other locations such as Largs, Fairlie or Wemyss Bay

Natural History[edit]

In 2014 the North Ayrshire Ranger Service carried out a survey of the plants growing on the rocky shore, whinstone dyke, saltmarsh and 'machair-like' seaside vegetation. Species recorded included sea arrowgrass (Triglochin maritima); sea sandwort (Honkenya peploides); scurvy-grass (Cochlearia officinalis); common orache (Atriplex patula); sea club-rush (Scirpus maritimus); sea milkwort (Glaux maritima); salt mud-rush (Juncus gerardii); lesser sea spurrey (Spergularia marina); cliff sand spurrey (Spergularia rupicola); sea aster (Aster tripolium); red bartsia (Odonitites verna); silverweed (Potentilla anserina); bird's foot trefoil (Lotus geniculatus); sea pink/thrift (Armeria maritima); eyebright (Euphrasia nemorosa); yellow rattle (Rhinanthus minor); sea plantain (Plantago maritima); meadow cranesbill (Geranium pratense); purple loosetrife (Lythrum salicalia); pineapple weed (Matricaria matricariodes); curled dock (Rumex crispus); scentless mayweed (Matricaria maritima); corn sowthistle (Sonchus arvensis); marsh thistle (Cirsium palustre); lady's bedstraw (Galium verum); mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris); celery-leaved crowfoot (Ranunculus scleratus); ragged robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi); yellow flag iris (Iris pseudacorus); parsley water-dropwort (Oenanthe lachenalii); greater woodrush (Luzula sylvatica); amphibious bistort (Polygonum amphibian); crow garlic (Allium vineale var. compactum); Japanese rose (Rosa rugosa); alder (Alnus glutinosa); sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides); wood sage (Teucreum scorodonia); hemlock water-dropwort (Oenanthe crocata); sticky groundsel (Senecio viscosus); bloody cranesbill (Geranium sanguineum); bracken/brake (Pteridium aquilinium); yellow splash lichen (Xanthoria parietina); crab's eye lichen (Ochrolechia parella); sea ivory (Ramalina siliquosa).


  1. ^ WKAS, p.75

See also[edit]


  • WKAS (2002). West Kilbride, Seamill, Portencross & thereabouts. foreword by Peter McNab. Largs: West Kilbride Amenity Society. ISBN 0-9516831-1-X.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°42′N 4°54′W / 55.700°N 4.900°W / 55.700; -4.900