Iron that Floats: The Vulcan

Vulcan barge
Credit: Donald Whannell
Vulcan Barge
Credit: Charlie Reilly
Vulcan Barge
Credit: Tommy Quinn
SS Vulcan replica
Credit: A W Fyfe
The Vulcan
Credit: Richard East
Garden Festival 'zone'

Water and Maritime

Sponsor, if appropriate

Monklands District Council

Type of object

Vehicle, boat or ship

Current situation


Current location, if known

Summerlee Heritage Museum, Coatbridge (as at January 2022)


A replica, constructed at Linthouse, of what was almsot certainly the first iron-hulled passenger vessel (and the first iron-hulled boat built in Scotland). Now an exhibition & classroom at Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life. A related boatshed also exists at Summerlee, as does the base of the winch (by Fox Henderson and originally from a railway goods yard in Forfar) seen in the background of the last image above. The bucket/ladle also seen in the background of that image may or may not be one currently exhibited at the Centre Park Drive roundabout in Coatbridge - what is definitely known is that it was 'for unloading grain and probably came from a Clyde Port Authority 3 ton crane of the type that were on Anderston Quay'. (Correspondence ex. Justin Parkes, NLC)


  1. Justin Parkes says:

    Hi, the Vulcan is now an exhibition & classroom at Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life, which is in Coatbridge not Motherwell. More here including interviews with people who built the replica: The boatshed that was part of the Festival exhibit is also at Summerlee.

    1. Thanks very much for the info, Justin! Correction and additions now made.

    2. Justin Parkes says:

      Sorry Lex, another correction: the original Vulcan was the first iron hulled boat built in Scotland but there are accounts of earlier iron-hulled boats in England. However, the Vulcan was almost certainly the first iron hulled passenger vessel.

      1. No problem, and thanks for keeping us right; your expertise is valuable here! (I’d drawn that conclusion from Note #1 on the relevant Wikipedia article, with reference to John Wilkinson’s ‘Trial’.)

  2. Another picture of the Vulcan replica

    SS Vulcan replica

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