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Port Glasgow


Former Town Hall, Port Glasgow
©2016 Gazetteer for Scotland

Former Town Hall, Port Glasgow

A seaport on the south side of the Firth of Clyde, Port Glasgow lies 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Glasgow. The second largest town in the Inverclyde Council Area, Port Glasgow is very much shaped by the topography of the steep slopes on which it lies. Originally known as Newark, following the purchase of Newark Bay as a harbour by the City of Glasgow in 1668, Port Glasgow was created as a parish in 1695 and the town was made a burgh of barony in 1775. Large ships which could not go up the then shallow Clyde stopped here, trading cargoes of cotton, hemp, iron, timber and tobacco. As the Clyde was deepened the port focused on shipbuilding, though today there is only one active shipyard, Fergusons, which specialises in North Sea oil-related vessels and car ferries.

Important features include Newark Castle (15th century, on the banks of the Clyde and home to the Maxwell family from the 16th century), and a replica of the first steamship, SS Comet which was built in Port Glasgow. Finlaystone House and Garden, to the east of the town and comprising 4 ha (10 acres) with woodland walks and play areas, is open to the public. There is an 18 hole golf course.

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