Port Glasgow is the second largest town in the Inverclyde council area of Scotland. The population according to the 1991 census for Port Glasgow was 19,426 persons, the most recent census in 2011 states that the population has declined to 15,414. It is located immediately to the east of Greenock and was previously a burgh in the county of Renfrew. Port Glasgow was home to dry docks and shipbuilding beginning in 1762, the town grew from the central area of the present town and thus many of the towns historic buildings are found here. Port Glasgow expanded up the hills inland to open fields where areas such as Park Farm, Boglestone, Slaemuir. This area has become known as upper Port Glasgow and most of the towns population occupies these areas. The town is served by Port Glasgow railway station in the town centre, both stations are on the electrified Inverclyde Line which has frequent services to the termini at Glasgow Central, Gourock and Wemyss Bay. All trains stop at Port Glasgow, Woodhall has a frequent service. From 1869 to 1959 the town was served by rail at Port Glasgow Upper railway station on the Greenock. The town is connected to nearby Glasgow by the A8 dual carriageway, Glasgow Airport located 21 km to the east is the closest airport to Port Glasgow. The origins of Port Glasgow go back to the construction by Sir George Maxwell between 1450 and 1477 of the New Werke of Finlastoun, which became Newark Castle. At a good anchorage near the castle, a fishing hamlet known as Newark formed. They put a bid in for the Easter Greenock estate for a harbour, but were outbid, construction of piers and breakwaters enclosing the harbour began promptly, and Newport Glasgow was constituted as a free port. Through that century the town became simply as Port Glasgow. Ships, mostly owned by Glasgow merchants, imported tobacco, sugar, rum, cotton and mahogany from the Americas, as well as timber, iron and these goods were then taken by road to Glasgow, as was market garden produce from farms around Port Glasgow. A change began in 1773 when the Lang Dyke was constructed to deepen the upper river, in 1830 the custom house collected £243,349 3s 1d in revenue, but after that income from the port declined, while Greenock had by then its own custom house. After 1693, the street layout which still forms much of the town centre today, was laid out. In 1780 Thomas McGill set up one of the first shipyards in the area, by the 19th century, Port Glasgow had become a centre of shipbuilding
Image: Port Glasgow
Newark Castle stands close to the last shipyard on the Lower Clyde.
PS ''Comet'', Europe's first commercially successful steamboat, was built in Port Glasgow, and a replica of her made by shipyard apprentices now stands in the town centre.