GREENOCK (/ˈɡriːnək/ ( listen ); Scottish Gaelic : Grianaig,
pronounced ) is a town and administrative centre in the Inverclyde
council area in
Scotland and a former burgh within the historic county
Renfrewshire , located in the west central Lowlands of
It forms part of a contiguous urban area with
Gourock to the west and
Port Glasgow to the east.
The 2011 census showed that
Greenock had a population of 44,248, a
decrease from the 46,861 recorded in the 2001 Census . It lies on the
south bank of the Clyde at the "
Tail of the Bank " where the River
Clyde expands into the
Firth of Clyde
Firth of Clyde .
* 1 History
* 1.1 Name
* 1.2 Early history: baronies and kirks
* 1.3 Fishing villages and harbours
Custom house and steamboats
* 2 Industry and railways
* 2.1 Victoria Tower
* 2.2 Villas
* 2.3 Battery Park and torpedoes
Old West Kirk
Old West Kirk
Second World War
Second World War
* 2.6 Postwar years
* 3 Governance
* 4 Health
* 5 Geography
* 5.1 Areas and suburbs
* 6 Economy
* 6.2 Shipping
* 6.3 Sugar
* 6.5 Trade and commerce
* 7 Transport
* 8 Culture
* 8.1 In television
* 8.2 In film
* 9 Media
* 10 Greenockians
* 10.1 People associated with
* 11 Sports
* 11.1 Public sports and leisure facilities
* 12 Climate
* 13 Twin cities
* 14 Gallery
* 15 Notes
* 16 References
* 17 Further reading
* 18 External links
The name of the town has had various spellings over time. It was
printed in early Acts of Parliament as Grinok, Greenhok, Grinock,
Greenhoke, Greinnock, and later as Greinok. Old Presbyterial records
used Grenok, a common spelling until it was changed to
1700. The origin of the name is unknown, suggested sources have
Common Brittonic "Graenag", a gravelly or sandy place
which accurately describes the foreshore before the docks and piers
were constructed, or Gaelic meaning a sunny place, which Grenockians
have thought an improbable description. It has also been suggested
that "Grian cnoc" or sunny hill could refer to the hill on which the
castle and mansion house stood, but this has not found much support.
The spelling "Greenoak" was found in two factory accounts dating back
to 1717, and a legend developed of a green oak tree at the edge of the
Clyde at William Street being used by fishermen to tie up their boats.
This has been generally dismissed as imaginative folk etymology , but
the image has frequently been used as an emblem or logo, carved on
public buildings, used on banners and badges, and was once emblazoned
on the local Co-operative Society emblem. The town's modern indoor
shopping centre is called The Oak Mall and uses a green tree as its
logo. The name is also recalled in a local song (The Green Oak Tree).
Significantly, no green oak appears on the town's coat of arms which
features the three chalices of the Shaw Stewarts, a sailing ship in
full sail and two herring above the motto God Speed Greenock.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that there was a 'Green Oak Tree',
situated in Cathcart Square, at the top end of William Street, close
to the Oak Mall – indeed, a horseshoe set into the cobblestones,
between the 'Mid-Kirk' church and the central feature of the square,
was where it once, supposedly, grew.
EARLY HISTORY: BARONIES AND KIRKS
Old West Kirk
Old West Kirk of 1591, much altered over the years, was
moved in 1928 to a new location, again close to the
Firth of Clyde
Firth of Clyde .
Hugh de Grenock was created a Scottish
Baron in 1296, and the seat of
the feudal barony of
Greenock was apparently what became Easter
Greenock Castle . Around 1400 his successor Malcolm Galbraith died
with no sons, and his estate was divided between his two daughters to
become two baronies: the eldest inherited Easter
Greenock and married
a Crawfurd, while Wester
Greenock went to the younger daughter who
married Schaw of Sauchie. Around 1540 the adjoining barony of Finnart
was passed to the Schaw family, extending their holdings westward to
the boundary of
Gourock , and in 1542 Sir John Schaw founded Wester
Scottish Reformation of 1560 closed the chapels in the parish,
and as the parish church was some 6 miles (9.7 km) distant at Inverkip
over a difficult route which was impassable in winter, in 1589 John
Schaw obtained a charter from
King James VI to build a kirk for the
"poor people upon his lands who were all fishers and of a reasonable
number". Later known as the Old Kirk or the
Old West Kirk
Old West Kirk , it was
constructed on the west bank of the West Burn estuary and is reputed
to have been the first
Protestant church built in
Scotland after the
FISHING VILLAGES AND HARBOURS
The coast of
Greenock formed a broad bay with three smaller
indentations: the Bay of Quick was known as a safe anchorage as far
back as 1164. To its east, a sandy bay ran eastwards from the Old Kirk
and the West Burn as far as Wester
Greenock castle. The fishing
Greenock developed along this bay, and around 1635 Sir John
Schaw had a jetty built into the bay which became known as Sir John's
Bay. In that year he obtained a Charter raising
Greenock to a Burgh of
Barony with rights to a weekly market. Further east, Saint Laurence
Bay curved round past the Crawfurd Barony of Easter
Greenock to Garvel
(or Gravel) Point. When a pier (or dyke) was built making the bay an
important harbour, the fishing village of Cartsburn gained the
alternative name of Crawfurdsdyke. In 1642 it was made into the Burgh
of Barony of Crawfurdsdyke, and part of the ill-fated Darien Scheme
set out from this pier in 1697. This town was later renamed Cartsdyke.
The fishing trade grew prosperous, with barrels of salted herring
exported widely, and shipping trade developed. As seagoing ships could
not go further up the
River Clyde , the
Glasgow merchants including
Tobacco Lords wanted harbour access but were in disputes with
Greenock over harbour dues and warehouses. They tried to buy the
Garvel estate for a harbour when Easter
Greenock lands were put up for
sale to meet debts, but were outbid by Sir John Schaw who then got a
Crown Charter of 1670 uniting Easter and Wester
Greenock into the
Burgh Barony of Greenock. A separate
Barony of Cartsburn was created,
the first baron being Thomas Craufurd. In 1668 the City of
the lease of 13 acres (5.3 ha) of land upriver close to Newark Castle
, and construction promptly started on Newport
Glasgow harbour which
by 1710 had the principal Clyde custom house . The harbour, c.
In 1696 and 1700 Schaw and residents of the town made unsuccessful
bids to the
Scottish Parliament for grants for a
then when the
Act of Union 1707 opened up trade to the Americas, they
raised their own funds. The work was completed in 1710, with quays
extended out into Sir John's Bay to enclose the harbour. In 1711 the
shipbuilding industry was founded when Scotts leased ground between
the harbour and the West Burn to build fishing boats.
became a major port and shipbuilding centre, and though from 1774
deepening of the
River Clyde increasingly allowed ships to take
merchandise directly to Glasgow, merchants continued to use Greenock
American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War temporarily interrupted trade,
and the gun battery of Fort Beauclerc near the West Burn was extended
to guard against the threat of privateers , but the emphasis shifted
to wider markets including imports of rum and sugar from the Caribbean
, wines from Spain, and fish from North America. A whaling business
operated for about 40 years.
CUSTOM HOUSE AND STEAMBOATS
Greenock became a custom house port as a branch of Port
Glasgow , and for a period this operated from rooms leased in
Greenock. Receipts rose rapidly from the 1770s, and in 1778 the custom
house moved to new built premises at the West
Quay of the harbour.
By 1791 a new pier was constructed at the East Quay. In 1812 Europe's
first steamboat service was introduced by
PS Comet with frequent
sailings between Glasgow,
Helensburgh , and as trade
built up the pier became known as Steamboat Quay. The custom house
needed larger premises, and in May 1817 the foundation stone was laid
at the quay for a Custom House building designed by
William Burn ,
which was completed in 1818. Its gracious neoclassical architecture
features a Grecian Doric portico looking out over the quayside, which
was given the name Customhouse Quay. In 1828 the Custom House was
praised as "a grand National Structure" in "the highest style of
elegance". By then there were scheduled steamboat sailings to Belfast
, Londonderry , Liverpool,
Campbeltown , the
"all the principal places in the Highlands".
The Custom House underwent extensive refurbishment which was
completed in 1989 and, until closure of the building in 2010, housed a
customs and excise museum which was open to the public. In June 2008
HM Revenue and Customs
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) announced that the building would close
in 2011 as part of a rationalisation project with any jobs being
transferred to offices in
Glasgow , and despite a campaign to oppose
these plans, the building closed in August 2010.
Inverclyde arranged further refurbishment works, and in
2013 announced that space had already been let to companies including
PG Paper Company Ltd and
Toshiba which had planning permission to form
meeting rooms and an executive office in the building. Greenock
Telegraph estimated that £4.1 milion has been spent over 5-year
period for the renovation works.
INDUSTRY AND RAILWAYS
The Cut – visitor centre The Cut – aqueduct
Greenock became a centre of industry, with water power being used to
process imported goods. In 1827
Loch Thom was constructed as a
reservoir with The Cut aqueduct , bringing water to two lines of falls
for water mills to power a paper mill, cotton and woollen mills, sugar
refineries and shipbuilding
Greenock Central railway station at Cathcart Street opened in 1841,
for the first time providing a fast route from
Glasgow to the coast
linking up with
Clyde steamer services. The provision of this new line
eliminated the necessity of taking the steamer all the way down river
from Glasgow. In 1869 the
Caledonian Railway was bypassed by the rival
Glasgow and South Western Railway which opened a station on the
waterfront at Princes Pier. To regain custom, the Caledonian Railway
extended (what is now known as the
Inverclyde Line ) the Glasgow,
Greenock Railway west to Gourock; this line was built to
run inland through deep cuttings and tunnels to avoid disturbance to
the villas of Greenock's west end. The
Gourock line opened in 1889.
View from above Cathcart Street over Cathcart Square to the
Municipal Buildings, with the Victoria Tower to the right of "Cowan's
Corner", and the Mid Kirk spire of 1781 to the left.
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Greenock's increasing importance and wealth was manifested in the
construction of the
Italianate Municipal Buildings, whose Victoria
Tower, completed in 1886, stands 245 feet (75 m) tall. Begun five
years previously in a competition won by architects
H & D Barclay , it
exceeds the height of the tower of
Glasgow City Chambers by more than
a metre. The Municipal Buildings were bombed during World War 2 and
what is known as Cowans Corner on the southern elevation of the
building was destroyed beyond repair and remains like so today.
Cowan's Corner is named so after the story of how an obstinate shop
owner took on the town council and thwarted its plans for the
construction of the Municipal Buildings. In the 1850s, the council
started buying up all the property on the projected Municipal Building
site, but the council did not anticipate it would run into problems
when attempting to negotiate with a certain Robert Cowan, one of the
owners of the firm of Cowan ">
In 1907 the
Admiralty compulsorily purchased part of this land and
constructed the Clyde Torpedo Factory, which opened in 1910, with 700
workers transferred from the
Royal Arsenal ,
Woolwich . The site was
tasked with designing and testing of torpedoes . These were then
Loch Long . During the
Second World War
Second World War the site switched
entirely to manufacturing torpedoes. The original gun battery site was
occupied by the Navy Buildings, the main offices, just to the east of
the torpedo factory buildings. Following WW2, in 1947, the site
became fully committed to R"> The
Old West Kirk
Old West Kirk features a scale
model of a 20-gun frigate above its Sailor's loft: the Laird's Gallery
is on the right.
A church which became known as the
Old West Kirk
Old West Kirk had been established
Greenock in 1591 under the patronage of John Schaw, the first built
Scotland since the Reformation . It was extended over the years, at
an early stage the Schaw aisle provided pews for the Laird of the
Barony, built as a gallery to the east of the nave of the church.
Opposite it, above the front entrance, is the Crawfurdsburn or Choir
Gallery. At the south end of the nave, the Sailor's Loft gallery was
built in 1698, and features a 19th-century model frigate, which
replaced earlier models. At the north end, the Farmer's Gallery is
above the main seating area. A tower was added in the mid 19th
In 1926, to make way for expansion of the Harland "> Free French
Lyle Hill overlooking
Gourock The original James
Watt Memorial College building
Greenock Town Hall
Greenock suffered badly during the
Second World War
Second World War and its anchorage
Tail of the Bank became the base for the
Home Fleet as well as
the main assembly point for
Atlantic convoys. On 30 April 1940 the
Vauquelin class destroyer Maillé Brézé blew up off Greenock
with heavy loss of life following an accident involving two of her own
torpedoes. Although this disaster occurred before the Free French
Naval Forces were established, many people tend to regard the Cross of
Lyle Hill as a memorial to the loss of the Maillé Brézé
as well as to the later losses of the
Free French Naval Forces
Free French Naval Forces which
sailed from the town. On the nights of 6 May and 7 May 1941 around 300
Luftwaffe aircraft attacked the town in the
Greenock Blitz .
A large building housing a drapery business constructed on Cowan's
property at the corner of the Municipal Buildings was badly damaged
and was demolished, leaving the blank brick corner area still known as
"Cowan's Corner". This was later set as a garden for the blind.
The original blank brick of Cowans Corner was covered in 2008 as part
of the continuing work to improve the look of the town centre.
Greenock thrived in the post-war years but as the heavy industries
declined in the 1970s and 1980s unemployment became a major problem,
and it has only been in the last ten years with reinvestment and the
redevelopment of large sections of the town that the local economy has
started to revive. Tourism has appeared as an unexpected bonus with
the development of the Clydeport Container Terminal as an Ocean
Terminal for cruise ships crossing the Atlantic. Students who do not
travel further afield for study often attend the
Greenock campus of
West College (formerly known as
James Watt College of Further and
Greenock reached its population peak in 1921 (81,123) and was once
the sixth largest town in Scotland.
Greenock (UK Parliament constituency)
Greenock was a parliamentary burgh in its own right. It
was merged with
Port Glasgow to form
Greenock and Port Glasgow
constituency. In 1997 it became
Inverclyde . After the
redistribution of Scottish seats, it was merged into an enlarged
Inverclyde constituency – the first time in political history that
Greenock has not been named in a parliamentary seat.
Inverclyde remains a
Scottish Parliament constituency.
Inverclyde Royal Hospital
Inverclyde Royal Hospital is located in
Greenock serving the
Largs , the
Isle of Bute and the Cowal
Peninsula . Ravenscraig Hospital deals with psychiatric, day
patients, referrals and specialised prescribing.
Langhill Clinic situated behind
Inverclyde Royal Hospital is now the
main psychiatric hospital with an IPCU unit and
Day hospital alongside
the main psychiatric ward.
AREAS AND SUBURBS
Arran View , Bogston , Bow Farm , Braeside , Branchton , Bridgend ,
Broomhill , Cartsburn , Cornhaddock , Fancy Farm , Fort Matilda ,
Greenock West , Grieve Hill , Hole Farm , Larkfield , Lyle
Hill , Lynedoch , Overton , Pennyfern , Strone , Strone Farm and
Spango Valley is located to the west of the town.
Historically, the town relied on shipbuilding , sugar refining and
wool manufacturing for employment, but none of these industries are
today part of Greenock's economy. More recently the town relied
heavily on electronics manufacture. However, this has given way mostly
to call centre business, insurance, banking and shipping export.
The Fleming and Reid merino wool mill employed 500 people – mostly
women and produced wool garments spun and woven at the mill. This mill
was at the corner of Drumfrochar Road and Mill Road.
As of October 2012
Greenock has an unemployment rate of 5.3%, above
the Scottish average of 3.9% (figure is for the Scottish Parliament
constituency and includes
Port Glasgow and Wemyss
Greenock waterfront from Victoria
Harbour to Ocean Terminal, the
skyline dominated by Victoria Tower.
The Inchgreen Drydock lacked major repair work for almost a decade,
then in March 2013 it was used for urgent repairs to the ro-ro Stena
Line ferry Finnarrow. View looking north over the Inchgreen
Drydock and repair quay, with the
Harbour to the left,
after the announcement that the dry dock cranes are to be demolished.
In the early 17th century, the first pier was built in Greenock.
Shipbuilding was already an important employer by this time. The first
proper harbour was constructed in 1710 and the first well-known
Scotts Shipbuilding and Engineering Company
Scotts Shipbuilding and Engineering Company , was
established the following year. It was the oldest shipbuilding
business in the world and gained numerous contracts with the Royal
Navy from 1806, building ships such as the
In 1967 Scott's was merged with
Lithgows (founded 1874, later the
largest privately owned yard in the world) the same year becoming
Scott Lithgow , which was later nationalised as part of British
Shipbuilders in 1977. From the 1800 to 1980 many thousands of people
worked to design, build and repair ships. The reduction in
shipbuilding in the 1970s and 1980s meant that none of these companies
are still trading.
Greenock Shipbuilders included: Scotts, Browns, William Lithgows,
Fergusons, Head the Boat Builder (lifeboats). Other marine engineering
related companies included engine-makers – Kincaids, Scotts, Rankin
and Blackmore (which included the Eagle Foundry) – ship repair
(Lamonts) and Hasties for steering gear. Yacht builders included Adams
and McLean (at Cardwell Bay). Other yards included Cartsburn,
Cartsdyke, and Klondyke – all of which closed during the 1970s and
1980s due to competition from
South Korea and Japan.
Part of the site of the Scott's yard, is now an EE call centre, and
the Kingston Yard was redeveloped for housing.
Shipbuilding is now
Ferguson Marine Engineering in nearby
Port Glasgow ,
after Ferguson Shipbuilders was taken over by
Jim McColl and began
modernisation. Ship repair work continues at the Garvel Drydock in
Greenock's Great Harbour.
The Inchgreen Drydock was opened in 1964 as one of the largest in the
world at 305m long and 48m wide. It was used to re-fit the RMS Queen
Elizabeth , and to fit-out the
QE2 . In 1966 it came under the
nationalised Clydeport, which was privatised in 1882 and in 2003 was
sold to Peel Ports of
The Peel Group . They subsequently operated the
drydock as part of their
Cammell Laird shipbuilding subsidiary. Peel
Ports put the drydock on the market for a lease in 2014, and Jim
McColl opened discussions on leasing the dock to expand Fergusons'
shipbuilding, but nothing came of the negotiations. On 1 May 2017
Clydeport stated that the drydock cranes are to be demolished.
Ocean Terminal seen from the esplanade
Freight traffic is handled at the container cranes of Greenock's
Ocean Terminal, at Prince's
Pier which was constructed for the Glasgow
and South Western Railway . The same terminal is a regular port of
call for cruise liners visiting the west of Scotland.
Greenock was a regular port of call for Cunard Line and Canadian
Pacific in the 1950s and 1960s. Ships on the Montreal to Liverpool
transit would anchor at the
Tail of the Bank off
Greenock in the Firth
of Clyde and steam paddlewheel ferries would service the liners.
Cunard operated the RMS Ivernia (1954), RMS Saxonia (1955), RMS
Carinthia (1956) and RMS Sylvania (1957). These four ships were built
at John Brown & Company shipyards, typically 22,000 tons, twin screw,
600 passengers. CP operated the Empress of Britain (1956), Empress of
Canada and Empress of England.
Harbour is one of the three main ports providing
marine services support to the Royal Navy, in dual site operation with
HMNB Clyde on the
Gare Loch . 240 staff of the former Royal
Maritime Auxiliary Service were transferred to
Serco Denholm under a
15-year £1bn PFI contract awarded in December 2007. This facility
means that "Admiralty" boats and tugs are a common sight on the Clyde.
Greenock's attractive esplanade provides a gently curving riverside
walk just over a mile (1.6 km) long extending to the west from Ocean
Terminal to the Royal West of
Scotland Amateur Boat Club sailing,
kayaking and rowing facilities and clubhouse at the corner of the Navy
Buildings which housed a main Her Majesty\'s Coastguard centre until
it closed in December 2012, as well as a Royal Naval Reserve
HMS Dalriada .
Sugar refining began in
Greenock in 1765. John Walker began a sugar
Greenock in 1850 followed by the prominent local cooper
Abram Lyle who, with four partners, purchased the Glebe
Sugar Refinery in 1865. Another 12 refineries were active at one
point. The most successful of these was Tate "> The Sugar Warehouse
James Watt Dock
By the end of the 19th century, around 400 ships a year were
transporting sugar from
Caribbean holdings to
Greenock for processing.
There were 14 sugar refineries, including The Westburn, Walkers, The
Glebe, Lochore and Ferguson and Dempster, plus a sugar beet factory on
Ingleston Street. Tobacco from the Americas also arrived here.
When Tate and Lyle finally closed its
Greenock refinery in 1997 it
brought to an end the town's 150-year-old connections with sugar
manufacture. A newly built sugar warehouse continued shipping
operations at Greenock's Ocean Terminal. The former sugar warehouse at
James Watt Dock was by then scheduled as a category A listed
building as a fine example of early industrial architecture, with an
unusual feature of a colonnade of cast iron columns forming a
sheltered unloading area next to the quayside . This building has
since lain empty, with various schemes being proposed for conversion
and restoration. The photographs show the building still intact in
February 2006, but a fire on the evening of 12 June 2006 caused severe
damage to much of the building before being brought under control in
the early hours of 13 June. The local council confirmed that parts of
the building will have to be taken down to ensure public safety, but
promised an investigation and emphasised the importance of this world
Fortunately in 2007, contracts to develop the sugar refinery into
housing went ahead and the building is slowly being restored to its
grand spectacle alongside the ever increasingly developing waterfront
of the East end of Greenock. Many new and exciting housing projects
combining new environmentally friendly technologies along with
historically fashioned architecture are restoring Greenock's
Waterfront fascia to its once glorious former self.
IBM arrived in the town in 1951, electronics and light
manufacturing have, until recently, been the mainstay of local
Texas Instruments (Formerly
National Semiconductor ) has
run a silicon wafer manufacturing plant in the town since 1970.
However, with manufacturing moving to Eastern Europe and Asia, work
has shifted to the service sector , especially call centres. EE and
IBM both have major call centre operations in Greenock, while the
Royal Bank of
Scotland Mortgage Centre processes Mortgage applications
from throughout the UK "> at 1.2 miles (1.9 km) in length. Located
directly under Newton Street in the town, the tunnel allowed for the
extension of the railway to
Greenock is served by a number of local bus routes covering the
majority of Greenock,
Gourock and Port Glasgow. Long distance services
travel regularly to Glasgow,
Largs and Dunoon. The majority of routes
are run by McGill\'s Bus Services . The
Glasgow corridor is
served by three services, the 901, 906, which provide a bus along this
route every 15 minutes for most of the day. Route 907 offers a service
Buchanan bus station to
Dunoon via Renfrew road
Port Glasgow and
Greenock every 2 hours. The X7 service also
offers travel from
Greenock to Glasgow, serving the Slaemuir area of
Port Glasgow before travelling through Kilmacolm, Bridge of Weir,
Houston and Linwood, then joining the motorway to Braehead before
Glasgow City Centre.
Greenock is located at the end of the A8 road /M8 motorway which
Edinburgh . It is also the northern terminus of Euroroute
E05 which heads south through England, France and Spain, ending at the
Spanish port and container terminal of
Greenock is one of the settings for
Alan Sharp 's 1965 novel A Green
Tree in Gedde. It is fictionalised as 'Gantock' by
Robin Jenkins in
his 1979 novel Fergus Lamont (The Gantocks are a rocky shoal in the
Firth of Clyde
Firth of Clyde nearby, just off
Alasdair Gray 's 1984 novel
1982, Janine is set in a
Greenock hotel room.
Matthew Fitt 's
cyberpunk novel But\'n\'Ben A-Go-Go features a submerged Greenock
after the effects of global warming .
Greenock has featured in the
poetry of W.S. Graham (evoking his childhood) and
Douglas Dunn .
Greenock is home to the world's first Burns Club , The Mother Club ,
which was founded in 1801 by merchants born in
Ayrshire , some of whom
had known Robert Burns. They held the first
Burns Supper on what they
thought was his birthday on 29 January 1802, but in 1803 discovered
from the Ayr parish records that the correct date was 25 January 1759.
The Victorian landscape artist
John Atkinson Grimshaw
John Atkinson Grimshaw depicted a
Greenock in several of his paintings.
Mclean Museum is the largest museum in the
featuring exhibitions on
James Watt and a collection of Ancient
Egyptian artefacts. The
Arts Guild Theatre (Greenock) is a local venue
that hosts many comedians, musicians and plays every year. It will be
replaced in 2013 by the Beacon Arts Centre.
Greenock hosted the National Mòd in 1904 and 1925.
Greenock became the setting for the
BBC television drama
Waterloo Road , after the series was relocated from
Rochdale , Greater
Manchester. The series was shot at
Greenock Academy , a former
secondary school in the west of the town.
Greenock has featured as the backdrop to several films: the
television films Just a Boys\' Game (1979), Down Where The Buffalo Go
(1988) and Down Among the Big Boys (1993) and the cinema films Sweet
Sixteen (2002) and
Dear Frankie (2004). "Leaving" 1988 by Danny Boyle.
In "Rob Roy ", which is set in the mid-eighteenth century,
referred to as "the new world".
The town has a daily evening newspaper, The
Greenock Telegraph .
Dating from 1857, it is one of the oldest daily local newspapers in
the United Kingdom.
Inverclyde FM on line is a community Internet
radio station run by volunteers. An internet-based TV station -
Inverclyde TV - is run by Creative Industries students at Greenock's
Scotland - http://www.inverclyde-tv.com
A statue at the original
James Watt College building marks the
site of his birthplace.
James Watt was remembered in the name of the local college,
however this was renamed in 2014 to West College Scotland. However,
his name is still used at the library instituted in his memory, by the
James Watt Memorial College building on the site of his
birthplace in William Street which incorporates a commemorative statue
and a pub.
Other Greenockians include the composers
Hamish MacCunn and William
Wallace , musicians
John McGeoch and
Thomas Leer , mathematician
William Spence , poets
Denis Devlin ,
W. S. Graham and
Jean Adam ,
Matthew Algie , actors Richard Wilson ,
Martin Compston and
Stella Gonet , artists William Scott and
Frederick Donald Blake ,
Bill Bryden , Neil Paterson and
Peter McDougall , comedian
Charles \'Chic\' Murray , opera singer
Hugh Enes Blackmore ,
broadcaster Jimmy Mack ,
American football player
Lawrence Tynes ,
Antarctic explorer Henry Robertson \'Birdie\' Bowers and portrait
Leonard Boden .
Two Greenockians, Alexander Bruce and Theophilus S. Marshall, were
involved in the drafting of the laws for Australian Rules Football.
PEOPLE ASSOCIATED WITH GREENOCK
William Kidd claimed on death row that he was born in
Greenock, but subsequent evidence has shown that he was born either in
Robert Burns ' love
Mary Campbell (Highland Mary) and her father
Campbeltown to visit her brother in
Greenock early in
October 1786. Her brother fell ill with typhus , which she caught
while nursing him. She died of typhus on 20 or 21 October 1786, and
was buried in the
Old West Kirk
Old West Kirk graveyard. In 1842 increasing interest
in their romance led to a monument being erected by public
subscription to mark the grave. In 1920 when the church site was
needed to expand
Harland and Wolff
Harland and Wolff 's shipyard, the monument was moved
to its present site in
Greenock Cemetery, with her remains being
transferred to a casket and re-interred with due ceremony. The church
itself was moved and rebuilt in its current location at the west end
of the Esplanade in 1926. Cemetery entrance from Inverkip
Street, with plaque commemorating John Galt .
The novelist John Galt , who founded
Guelph , Ontario in 1827, lived
in the town and based some of his work, most notably Annals of the
Parish (1821), on
Greenock and surrounding towns. He is buried in the
Inverkip Street Cemetery. The mother of American comedian and writer
Jay Leno , Catherine Muir, was born in
Greenock and emigrated to the
US as a child. The American actress
Julianne Moore is the daughter of
the late Anne Love, a former psychiatric social worker who emigrated
from Greenock. The Rev William C. Hewitt (minister at Westburn Parish
Church in Greenock), Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church
Scotland in 2009–2010, is the first serving minister at a church
Greenock to be appointed.
Abdelbaset al-Megrahi , the Libyan intelligence officer convicted of
Lockerbie Bombing was incarcerated at
Greenock Prison from 2005
until his release on 20 August 2009.
Dr Donald McIntyre
FRSE (1891-1954) was born and raised in Greenock.
Cappielow Park , home of Morton F.C.
Greenock Morton F.C.
Greenock Morton F.C. are the local senior football team who currently
play in the
Scottish Championship . Founded in 1874 as Morton F.C.,
they play their home matches at
Cappielow . At lower levels of the
Greenock Juniors F.C.
Greenock Juniors F.C. play in the West of
Greenock hosts a rugby union team,
Greenock Wanderers RFC , founded
in 1873. It is one of the oldest clubs in Scotland.
Greenock also has 2 successful athletics clubs,
Inverclyde AC and
It is also the hometown of the
Greenock Cricket Club
Greenock Cricket Club . and Greenock
Golf Club ,
The town was also the host of the first ever international women\'s
football match, which was between
Scotland and England; it was held at
the Ravenscraig Sports Centre.
PUBLIC SPORTS AND LEISURE FACILITIES
Leisure facilities in
Greenock are primarily provided by Inverclyde
Leisure. There are several sports facilities in the town and
surrounding area managed by
* Waterfront Leisure Complex
Greenock Sports Centre
* Lady Octavia Sports Centre
* Boglestone Community Centre and Fitness Gym
* Ravenscraig Sports Centre
* Battery Park Pavilion
Gourock Fitness Gym
Gourock Outdoor Swimming Pool
* Birkmyre Park Fitness Gym (Kilmacolm)
As of 2009, there are plans to build a new multi-purpose facility at
Greenock Temp.(click to enlarge)
Greenock's climate is temperate maritime having mainly cool summers
but with relatively mild winters. Its location means that the heat
retentive properties of seawater help keep winter temperatures higher.
Additionally, the effect of the
Gulf Stream on the Clyde helps
Greenock's average temperature stay approximately one degree above
that of eastern coastal towns on the same latitude . Indeed,
Greenock's latitude (55.94 degrees north with a longitude of 4.75
degrees west) places it at the same latitude as the Moscow area. The
warming effect of the
Gulf Stream however, keeps the winter weather in
Greenock much milder than that of Moscow.
Greenock anecdotally has the reputation for having higher than
average rainfall (the song The Green Oak Tree comments on this) but
this is not statistically true; northwest of Fort William has the
highest average rainfall in Scotland. Greenock's location gives long
hours of daylight in midsummer with the opposite true in midwinter .
On the longest day, 21 June, the sun rises at 04:31 and sets at 22:07.
In midwinter, 21 December, the sun rises at 08:46 and sets at 15:44.
Greenock's twin cities are
Cany-Barville , both
in France. Another sister city is Coatesville , in Pennsylvania.
Greenock East India
Harbour over the
Mclean Museum and Art Gallery
Greenock Sheriff Court in baronial style , by architects Peddie and
Caribbean Princess docking at
View over West
Greenock towards The
Gare Loch .
Loch Thom , seen from the south
Looking north west over
Greenock in winter
Panorama from Craig's Top on the
Lyle Hill , overlooking
* ^ Smith 1921 , pp. 8–9
* ^ Smith 1921 , p. 9
* ^ Smith 1921 , pp. 4–5
* ^ Smith 1921 , pp. 9, 86, 109
Monteith 2004 , p. 3
* ^ Smith 1921 , pp. 6, 9, 64
Brown 1905 , p. 4
* ^ Smith 1921 , pp. 6, 55, 85
Monteith 2003 , p. 3 * ^ Smith 1921 , pp. 6, 55, 85, 87, 94
* ^ A B Monteith 2004 , p. 19
* ^ Wood 1828 , pp. 172–175
* ^ "Regeneration Projects Attracting Interest".
Inverclyde Now. 16
November 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
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* ^ "£4m
Greenock Custom House project nears an end". Greenock
Telegraph. Retrieved 2017-02-06.
* ^ "Secret
Scotland - Royal Naval Torpedo Factories".
* ^ I worked there 1957-59
* ^ "Welcome To The Old West Kirk,Greenock". Lyle Kirk. Retrieved
* ^ "
Inverclyde Royal Hospital". NHS Greater
Glasgow and Clyde.
* ^ "Page 2" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-04-17.
* ^ "nomis – official labour market statistics". Nomisweb.co.uk.
30 September 2010. Retrieved 2013-01-26.
* ^ A B "End of an era as cranes set to be flattened at Inchgreen".
Greenock Telegraph. 1 May 2017. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
* ^ "History". Peel Ports. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
* ^ "Inchgreen Drydock". Cammell Laird. 10 October 2015. Retrieved
11 May 2017.
* ^ "Revealed: billionaire scouts giant
Greenock dry dock as
potential shipyard". HeraldScotland. 18 September 2014. Retrieved 11
* ^ "Signing of Marine Services Contract". Serco Group plc. 14
December 2007. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 7
* ^ "Online encyclopedia from Britannica 1911".
* ^ "Picture Gallery". Archived from the original on 26 October
* ^ "£180 million Regeneration Project Approved". Inverclyde
Council. 7 January 2010. Archived from the original on 19 September
2013. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
* ^ "Workers\' disgust at
Greenock Telegraph, 15
February 2006, archived from the original on 27 February 2012,
retrieved 7 May 2010
* ^ "OAK MALL GREENOCK LIMITED ". Insolvent, Winding Up, Bankrupt &
Greenock from Old Photographs, 1984
* ^ "Congratulation
Greenock Burns Club". The
Robert Burns World
Federation Limited. Archived from the original on 26 January 2010.
Retrieved 18 January 2010.
* ^ List of Mod\'s places for each year on Sabhal Mòr Ostaig
* ^ "Waterloo Road relocates to Greenock".
BBC News . 27 October
* ^ "Screen One" Down Among the Big Boys (1993) on
* ^ "Inverclydemedia.com". Archived from the original on
2009-08-31. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
* ^ Craik, A. D. D. (October 2013). "Polylogarithms, functional
equations and more: The elusive essays of William Spence
(1777—1815)". Historia Mathematica. 40 (4): 353–482. doi
* ^ "KIDD-L Archives – Subject: Captain William Kidd: recent
biography". RootsWeb. Retrieved 2007-12-13.
* ^ "
William Kidd 1645–1701". Archived from the original on 28
September 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-13.
* ^ "Highland Mary (Mary Campbell)". Famous Sons and Daughters of
Greenock. Nostalgic Greenock. Archived from the original on 21 August
2008. Retrieved 2010-01-17.
* ^ "National Burns Collection – Design for a Monument proposed
to be erected in memory of Highland Mary". Retrieved 2010-01-18.
* ^ "GMFC.net".
Greenock Morton FC.
* ^ "Greenockwanderers.co.uk".
Greenock Wanderers RFC.
* ^ "Greenockcricketclub.com".
Greenock Cricket Club.
* ^ "Greenockgolfclub.co.uk".
Greenock Golf Club.
* ^ Baxter, Eric (13 February 2009), "Council tax frozen...but
£23m leisure boost",
Greenock Telegraph, retrieved 2010-05-07
* ^ "Northern Scotland: climate". Met Office. Archived from the
original on 13 August 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
* Brown, Archibald (1905), The Early Annals of Greenock, Greenock
Telegraph printing works, archived from the original on 19 November
Inverclyde Council website)
* Monteith, Joy (2003), Old Port Glasgow, Catrine, Ayrshire:
Stenlake Publishing, ISBN 9781840332506
* Monteith, Joy (2004), Old Greenock, Catrine, Ayrshire: Stenlake
Publishing, ISBN 9781840333145
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Pollock & Co (
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* Wood, John (1828), Descriptive account of the principal towns in
Scotland: to accompany Wood's town atlas, Edinburgh, pp. 171–177
(Plan of the Town of
Greenock from actual survey. – Maps of
Scotland, 1825, National Library of
* Snoddy, TG (1937) Round About Greenock
* Weir, D (1827, r. 2004) History of the Town of Greenock
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