Port Glasgow, on the south bank of the River Clyde, was originally a village called Newark. Ships used to arrive from France and the Low Countries bringing goods for Glasgow, and they were unloaded here and the cargo taken up the Clyde. The present-day port dates from the 17th century, when port facilities and a grid-iron street pattern were established, and the Clyde was deepened. In the 19th century the port became a major centre for shipbuilding, which was the principal source of employment in the area. The first ship to be built and launched from there was the Comet steamship designed by Henry Bell (see the Helensburgh post). Sadly, there is now only one shipyard left, Ferguson Shipbuilders. In an attempt to reverse the inevitable resulting decline, work began in the 1990s to regenerate the waterfront.
Near Port Glasgow is Newark Castle, which was built in the 15th century by George Maxwell, and was later expanded by Patrick Maxwell, who added a 3-storey Renaissance mansion in the Scottish baronial style. The castle has some fine Jacobean features on its exterior. The area of foreshore called Parklea has a National Trust of Scotland wood, and is home to a bird sanctuary. The Inverclyde Coastal Path takes in this area. Another worthwhile place to visit is Finlaystone Country Estate, which has 10 acres of beautiful gardens with views over the Clyde as well as woodland walks and picnic areas.
Map of the area.
© 2009 Thomas Nugent, via Wikimedia Commons