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 and in the 2001 census was 16,617 persons. It is located immediately to the east of Greenock and was previously a burgh in the former county of Renfrew.
The town was originally named Newark but due to ships not being able to make it all the way up the shallow river Clyde it was formed as a port for nearby Glasgow in 1668 and became Port Glasgow in 1775. 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 town's historic buildings are found here. Port Glasgow expanded up the steep hills inland to open fields where areas such as Park Farm, Boglestone and Devol were founded. This area has subsequently become known as upper Port Glasgow and most of the town's population occupies these areas.
Port Glasgow was originally a small village known as Newark. The name actually came from the slang name newerk meaning new-work on the castle itself as the Maxwells built a huge extension to the existing keep possibly came from Newark Castle, in the parish of Kilmacolm. Trading ships from France and the low countries were unloaded here and the cargo taken up the River Clyde to Glasgow on smaller boats. In 1667, the town council of Glasgow purchased land for the construction of a harbour and breakwater. This became Glasgow's first deep-water port and the town of Newark became known as Port Glasgow (on some eighteenth century maps it is shown as Newport Glasgow). After 1693, the grid-iron street layout which still forms much of the town centre today, was laid out.
Port Glasgow has played host to several successful football clubs including Port Glasgow Athletic F.C. and their sister side Port Glasgow Athletic Juniors F.C., which are both now defunct. Port Glasgow F.C. have been since formed to fill this void. The team recently returned "home" to a new stadium at Parklea, Port Glasgow, following a spell playing their home games in nearby Greenock.
By the 19th century, Port Glasgow had become a centre of shipbuilding. The Comet was built in the town in 1812 and was the first commercial steam vessel in Europe. A replica of the Comet and a plaque commemorating the actual site of construction are situated in Port Glasgow town centre.