Things to do in Port Glasgow, Central Scotland
Port Glasgow was originally called "Newark" which derived from the "new work" on the castle.
It was initially a Tower house with a walled enclosure and a gatehouse.
The castle passed down through the generations to Sir Patrick Maxwell who was a powerful friend of James VI of Scotland.
He expanded the castle in 1597 and built a Renaissance Mansion in Scottish Baronial style with corbelled turrets.Historic Scotland in 1909.
The gatehouse and mansion overlooking the shore make an interesting visit, although the defensive walls have mostly disappeared.
The harbour was built nearby in 1667 and was used to unload cargo from seagoing ships and transport it to Glasgow in smaller boats. At this time the town was renamed Port Glasgow.
The port then turned to shipbuilding and until the 1980s there were many famous shipyards around the castle.
In 1812 the first commercial steam vessel in Europe, the Comet, was built at Port Glasgow by Henry Bell.
Altogether, the port was responsible for 25% of the total tonnage of ships that were "Clyde built", including RMS Queen Mary in 1934, RMS Queen Elizabeth in 1938 and the QE2 in 1967.
Present Day Port Glasgow
Population figures in 2010 showed 15,543 people lived in the town, but numbers have declined since 1991 (19,436), when shipbuilding still provided employment.
The grid pattern for the streets was laid out in 1693.
Since 2007 Port Glasgow has been an area of regeneration with investment in new housing, a bypass and a new civic square.
Things to do in Port Glasgow
Visit the Castle and see the collection of local prints of Port Glasgow.
The parkland around Newark Castle is managed by the National Trust for Scotland and is known as Parklea.
The Clyde Muirshell Regional Park provides green spaces and historic sights where visitors and residents can enjoy recreational activities.
Coronation Park is a pleasant place to walk with beautiful waterfront views and a Victorian drinking fountain.
It was formerly the Town Hall, a school and was where John Wesley preached.
It is now a Category B listed building and is used as a social club.
The city of Glasgow is 20 miles away and offers excellent shopping and fine architecture by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, among others.
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