Plantation Quay was the first quay wall on the Clyde to be built on cylindrical fondations. The first section was completed in 1872 and the second in 1875 on the site of the Clyde Villa Shipyard operated by J & G Thomson. As a result Thomson's moved to a greenfield site several miles downstream on the north bank of the river opposite the mouth of the River Cart. Over the subsequent 90 years that new yard was to become one of the most famous in the world (principally as John Browns) and, together with Isaac Singer's vast manufacturing works, formed the basis of the new town of Clydebank.
In 1889 berths 65-79 (the east section of Plantation Quay) was allotted to J & A Allan for their shipping services to Canada and in 1911 the Allan Line still occupied many of these berths for their US and Canadian services. At that time Berth 79 was allocated to Prentice, Service & Henderson's sailings to the West Indes.