The Glenlee was built at the Bay Yard in Port Glasgow and was one of a group of 10 steel sailing vessels built to a standard design for the Glasgow shipping firm of Archibald Sterling and Co. Ltd.
She is a three masted barque, with length 245 feet, beam 37.5 feet and depth 22.5 feet.
The Glenlee first took to the water as a bulk cargo carrier in 1896. She circumnavigated the globe four times and survived (though not without incident!) passing through the fearsome storms of Cape Horn 15 times before being bought by the Spanish navy in 1922 and being turned into a sail training vessel.
The ship was modified and served in that role until 1969. She then operated as a training school until 1981 when she was laid up in Seville Harbour and largely forgotten.
A British naval architect saw her in Seville in 1990 and two years later, the Clyde Maritime Trust succeeded in buying the re-named Galatea at auction for 5 million Pesetas (£40,000) and saved her from dereliction.
The Glenlee is one of only 5 Clydebuilt sailing ships that remain afloat in the world and she was restored over a six year period by the Clyde Maritime Trust’s paid and voluntary crew.
The other four Clydebuilt sailing ships afloat in the world are also visitor attractions
- Balclutha (San Francisco)
- Moshulu (Philadelphia)
- Falls of the Clyde (Hawaii)
- Pommern (Finland)
In November 1999, the Glenlee was recognised as part of the Core Collection of historic vessels in the UK. Chosen from a list of over 1,500 ships, the Glenlee is one of only 43 vessels recognised by the National Historic Ships Committee as being of pre-eminent national significance in terms of maritime heritage, historic associations or technological innovation.
The initial restoration of the Glenlee was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, European Regional Development Fund, Glasgow City Council, Scottish Enterprise Glasgow and many private benefactors. We receive an annual grant from Glasgow City Council and raise income through guidebook sales, sales in our shop and cafe, fundraising activities and our Friends membership scheme.
Berthed in Kelvin Harbour, you will discover Kelvinhaugh Ferry No.8.
Kelvinhaugh Ferry No.8 was built in 1954 and licensed to carry 144 passengers. These ferries played an essential role in the life of the average Clydesider. Many Glaswegians lived and worked on opposite sides of the river and until the 1960s, travel options for crossing the water were much more limited
From 1980-1999 the ferry was in the care of the Forth and Clyde Canal Society, before being purchased by the Clyde Maritime Trust in 1999. Since then, the ferry has been lovingly restored to working order by our team of volunteers. If you would like to view the ferry, please call ahead to arrange an appointment with the Ship Manager, 0141 357 3699.
Please see the What’s On page for details.
Clyde Maritime Trust’s Vision
The Tall Ship continues to be a cultural asset for the city of Glasgow that offers both local people and visitors the opportunity to discover more about the maritime heritage of the city. This will be a dynamic experience with a changing programme of events and we will consistently strive to provide our visitors with a positive, value for money experience supported by excellent customer service. We will also act as an educational and training resource and encourage community involvement at all levels.”
Glenlee is maintained by a paid crew and volunteers, who also carry out restoration and improvement projects.
The First Trustees were:
Dr Christopher Mason (Chair), Mr Hamish Hardie MBE (Vice Chair), Mr Geoffrey Jarvis, Mr John Money,
Mr Gordon Borthwick, Mr Derek Statt.
The Current Trustees are:
Mr Duncan Cunningham (Chair), Mr Frank Brown, Mr Hamish Hardie MBE, Mr Ian Ramsay,
Mr Sandy Taggart, Mr Derek Statt, Mr Stuart Coulter, Mr David Paterson, Ms Lynn Graves, Mr Gerry Kaye,
Mr Colin Castle, Captain Ron Bailey and Dr Christopher Mason (Honorary President)