Timber Ponds

It has been a really dull day so on the way home I stopped off near Langbank to take a quick shot of the Timber Ponds.

The Timber Ponds were created in the early 18th century along the southern shore of the River Clyde between Port Glasgow and Langbank. The industry required vast quantities of thoroughly seasoned timber, and with shipyards occupying most of the shore line from Greenock to Port Glasgow, demand was enormous.

The ponds stopped the timber from floating away and allowed the logs to be organised according to type, length of seasoning, and ownership. Extreme weather could result in the logs breaking free of the ponds, closing the river until they were recovered.

Imported from North America, timber crossed the Atlantic from Quebec to Port Glasgow. In 1825 this trade amounted to some 19,000 tons, and reached almost 28,000 tons by 1834. The timber was unloaded at the mid-harbour, then chained together with rafters and floated to the ponds. At their peak, the ponds extended as far as the Gare Loch, but the arrival of precut timber and steel construction by 1914 meant that few remained in use.

Remnants of the timber ponds still exist in the lines of vertical wooden posts sticking out of the mud.

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