Greenock Harbour

Greenock developed alongside its series of harbours and docks which grew along the southern shore of the Firth of Clyde over a distance of 2½ miles (4 km). It is now the biggest container port on the west coast of Scotland. The town began with a fishing harbour, but developed as a port in the 17th century. The West Harbour was built 1707-10 but has subsequently been filled-in. The East India (or East) Harbour was built 1805-09 by John Rennie (1761 - 1821) and John Gibb (1776 - 1850). Both this and the adjacent Victoria Harbour of 1846 remain. To the west, the Albert Harbour was constructed 1862-67 by Robert Bell (1822-83) and Daniel Miller (1825-88). It is also now infilled and today forms the Greenock Ocean Terminal and Clydeport Container Terminal. To the east, the large Great Harbour (with an area of 18.2 ha / 45 acres), James Watt Dock (5.7 ha / 14 acres) and Garvel Graving Dock were completed by 1886 at the enormous cost of £939,000 and all still exist. Between the Victoria Harbour and the James Watt Dock were a series of shipbuilding yards.

Initially the harbour grew with the herring trade. By the later 19th C. the main imports were iron ore, flour, timber and wheat. Ships came from around the globe bringing sugar for refining in Greenock. Today, the harbour handles containerised general cargo, forest products and metals. The ocean terminal handles cruise liners, while the older harbours also welcome pleasure craft.

Use the tabs on the right of this page to see other parts of this entry arrow

If you have found this information useful please consider making
a donation to help maintain and improve this resource. More info...

By using our site you agree to accept cookies, which help us serve you better