Greenock ( Grianaig in Gaelic ) is a town in western Scotland, Inverclyde district and the traditional Scottish county of Renfrewshire. It has 45 467 inhabitants ( according to the 2001 census). The city is located south of the mouth of the River Clyde in the Firth of Clyde, about 40 kilometers west of Glasgow.


The origin of the town name is uncertain. Main opinion is that the city is named after the Gaelic word for sun, grian, either as grian - aig (Sunny Bay ) or grian - cnoc ( sunny hill ).

1589 the church district of Greenock has been restored. Greenock was founded as a fishing village before 1592, when it split from the municipality of Inverkip. 1635 Greenock received city rights. After 1707 Greenock became the main port on the west coast of Scotland, particularly in their dealings with America and importing sugar from the Caribbean.

On 6 and 7 May 1941, some houses were damaged by German bombs in two night attacks on the shipyards.



Traditionally Greenock was since the beginning of the 17th century an important place of shipbuilding. ( Scotts Shipbuilding & Engineering Co., Lithgow - 1967 Scott Lithgow, Caird & Co., Greenock Shipyard Co., Cartsburn and Cartsdyke and Klondyke ) It especially numerous ships for the Royal Navy were built.


John Walker founded one of the first sugar refineries in Greenock in 1850, followed by Abram Lyle in 1865.

When Tate and Lyle Green ocher refinery closed in 1997, ended the 150 -year tradition Greenocks as the capital of the sugar industry.

Electrical industry

IBM established its first branch in 1951. Production of laptops ( Thinkpad ) and desktop computer was sold to Lenovo. Today, IBM Greenock is a service provider.

Since 1970, National Semiconductor manufactures silicon wafers.

Whiskey distilleries

Historically, three whiskey distilleries in Greenock were active, all of which bore the name of the city. Only the existing 1795-1915 distillery had this supra-regional importance. The other distilleries existed only in 1825 or 1825-1828.

Famous residents

  • The engineer James Watt (1736-1819) is Greenocks famous son. He was born on 19 Januarjul. / January 30 1736greg. born here. His most influential invention was to increase the efficiency of the steam engine.
  • The actor Richard Wilson ( b. 1936 in Greenock )
  • The Pirate William Kidd (1645-1701) was born in Greenock.
  • Other famous sons of the city were the composer Hamish MacCunn (1868-1916),
  • The poet Denis Devlin (1908-1959)
  • The musician John McGeoch ( 1955-2004 ).
  • The writer John Galt (1779-1839) moved to Greenock in 1789, where he first lived until 1804 and then from 1833.
  • The German writer John Henry Mackay (1864-1933) was born in Greenock, but grew up in Germany.


Greenock has besides many small shops, charity shops, electrical and home supply stores, three large supermarkets, a DIY and a large shopping mall, the Oak Mall.

Sport and Leisure

Greenock has two beautifully situated golf courses with views of Greenock and the Clyde: Greenock Whinhill the Golf Club and Greenock Golf Club. The Greenock Golf Club is located on the Lyle Hill and has an 18 -hole course and a 9-hole course.

The Waterfront Leisure Centre Greenock has a large sports center on the banks of the Clyde with swimming pool, ice rink, gym, health club, dance studio, bar and cafe. There are also several sports centers for indoor soccer, badminton, basketball, squash, volleyball, tennis and fitness. The Battery Park is a great park for soccer, rugby and other outdoor activities. In Gourock there is a heated outdoor swimming pool with salt water.

Greenock has the Waterfront a small cinema in which in several rooms up to seven different movies are shown.


Greenock is full of bars and clubs.


Greenock has a variety of churches.

  • Ardgowan Evangelical Church, Ardgowan Square

Church of Scotland:

  • Wellpark Mid Kirk
  • Mount Kirk
  • St. George North
  • Westburn Church
  • Ardgowan Parish Church, Union Street
  • Old West Kirk
  • Finnart St Paul 's Church

Catholic churches:

  • St. Mary's
  • St Patrick's Church

Free Churches:

  • St. George
  • Orangefield Baptist Church, Orange Field Place
  • Free Church of Scotland, Jamaica Street

Pentecostal Churches:

  • Elim Pentecostal Church, Kelly Street


The town hall has a large banquet hall for concerts and meetings. Clubs may also celebrate their Ceilidh here. The city hall tower is 245 ft (75 m) high.

On the square in front of City Hall is a statue group, reminiscent of the ship workers who Greenock have made ​​them rich. In addition, there is further to the right of the Town Hall (almost opposite the main church of Greenock ) is a beautiful Victorian fountain.

The James Watt statue is relatively hidden on the way between City Hall and Waterfront Centre.

Greenock has a beautiful promenade called the Esplanade, from which one has a beautiful view of the landscape to the north of the Clyde.

On the Lyle Hill is an anchor to the memory is to the French Navy, who was stationed in World War II on the Clyde. From there one has a good view over the Clyde.

Greenock has a theater ( Theatre Arts Guild ), in which not only held many guest performances will also be dance classes for children and other groups and events.

Not far from the George Square, the McLean Museum and Art Gallery. One of the museum is dedicated to the engineer James Watt. In the vestibule of the building is his statue.

In addition, Greenock has several libraries. In the central library opposite the town hall you can also use computers for Internet research.

Twin Cities


  • Neil Docherty McCann ( born 1974 ), football player