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Bed and breakfast availability
Greenock b&b, guesthouse and hotel accommodation

Greenock in Inverclyde

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Visit Greenock and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:

Greenock, Inverclyde. The important industrial and ship-building town of Greenock is on the Clyde estuary. The roadstead in the river immediately off Greenock is known as the Tail or Tile Bank.

The growth of the town was greatly linked with the fortunes and activities of the Shaw family, who are first mentioned in 1589. By the 17th century Greenock had a pier of note, and was the port for Scottish packets going to Ireland. Later there was an agitation that resulted in a charter permitting Greenock to take part in foreign trade (hitherto reserved for royal burghs); this was granted in 1681. In the second half of the 17th century there was a very extensive trade in herrings, mainly to the French and Baltic ports; in consequence the town adopted the motto “Let herring swim that trade maintain”. The trade declined, but at one point in the 17th century there were over 300 boats in the firth, of which more than half sailed from Greenock. The 18th century saw the construction of improved facilities, starting with a harbour and quays in 1710 once again with the aid of the Shaw family.

The first square-rigger to be built there was launched in 1760, and the graving-dock was completed in 1786. Even more extensive developments were to come in the 19th century. The foundation-stone of the East India Harbour was laid in 1805, designed by John Rennie. In 1850 the Victoria Harbour was completed, and in 1862 the Albert Harbour was begun to cost £250,000. The Garvel Graving Dock was begun in 1871, and the 350,000 James Watt Dock in 1881. By the end of the 19th century, the total harbour was 195 acres.

In 1818 David Reid planned an extension of the town, and the result is seen in the residential area of the “West End”. Greenock suffered considerable damage by bombing during the Second World War.

James Watt (17361819) was born in Greenock. This discoverer of the power of steam is commemorated in the Watt Monument in Union Street, built by his son in 1837 to house a statue by Sir Francis Chantrey, and to accommodate the Watt Scientific Library and the Greenock Library (1753) the second oldest subscription library in Scotland (Kelso being the oldest). Adjoining this Gothic building are the Watt Museum and Lecture Hall, which were built in 1876; in 1958 an art gallery was added.

Hardly any old buildings of merit remain in Greenock, but mention must be made of Garvel House (1772), once the Georgian mansion of Baillie Gammell, which stands amid the James Watt Dock; also there is the very imposing classical Custom House (1818) on the sea-frontage, recalling byegone days. The Tontine Hotel, once a Georgian residence, is worth notice.

In the cemetery is a Watt Cairn, and also a tombstone of Burns's “Highland Mary” (died 1789), removed from the old North Kirk. Behind the town is higher ground with fine views over the firth. On the viewpoint of Lyly Hill is a Cross of Lorraine surmounting an anchor a monument to Free French sailors who gave their lives in the Battle of the Atlantic in the Second World War. Farther back on the moors are the waterworks, justly famous, and a memorial to the genius of Robert Thom in the early 19th century. These remain almost Unchanged since their inception and include Loch Thom with 1,780 gallons. Water-power is also generated by a system of “cuts”.

Auchmountain Glen is an overgrown relic of town improvement at the end of the 19th century. This opens off Kilmacolm Road and was “beautified” with statuary and landscaping.

Nearby cities: Glasgow

Nearby towns: Bishopton, Dunoon, Gourock, Kilmacolm, Largs, Rothesay

Nearby villages: Alexandria, Ardentinny, Balloch, Blairmore, Bridge of Weir, Cardross, Clynder, Coulport, Cove, Helensburgh, Holy Loch, Hunters Quay, Inverkip, Jamestown, Kilcreggan, Kilmacolm, Kilmun, Kirn, Langbank, Millport, Ranfurly, Renton, Rhu, Rosneath, Sandbank, Shandon, Skelmorlie, Strone, Wemyss Bay

Have you decided to visit Greenock or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:

  • a Greenock bed and breakfast (a Greenock B&B or Greenock b and b)
  • a Greenock guesthouse
  • a Greenock hotel (or motel)
  • a Greenock self-catering establishment, or
  • other Greenock accommodation

Accommodation in Greenock:

Find availability in a Greenock bed and breakfast, also known as B&B or b and b, guesthouse, small hotel, self-catering or other accommodation.