Around Cathcart Square

Short walk around historic Cathcart Square

Around Cathcart Square

Scotland EH2 2EJ, United Kingdom

Created By: chris bradley

Tour Information

The historic centre of Greenock.

Cathcart Square was the civic and commercial heart of Greenock. The church, known locally as the ‘Toon Kirk’ was bult in 1760 with its 146 foot high steeple added in 1787. A handsome classical church, its iconic portico and steeple were modelled on St Martin-in-the-Fields Church in London. The horseshoe embedded between the church and the fountain was the location for hangings and public floggings.

The ornate Lyle central fountain was gifted to the town by Provost Abram Lyle in 1880. It was designed by Mr F.A. Scudamore of Coventry. Bronze shields which bear the crests of the Ardgowan and Cartsburn families and 16 other prominent families of Greenock can be seen above the fountain.

Abram Lyle was a successful businessman born in Greenock in 1820 and was a partner in the largest shipping fleet in Greenock, transporting sugar from the West Indies.With four business partners Lyle bought the Glebe Sugar refinery in 1865. He was the Provost of Greenock from 1876 – 1879.

The Clydesdale Bank building, now known as The Square was built in 1899 by architect James Thomson – he sculptures above the windows depict Greenock’s history of shipbuilding and trade.

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What You'll See on the Tour

In 1758 Lord Cathcart gave a present of ground for the purposes of building a church on a plot fronting Cthcart Square and the magistrates of the town and a number of individuals gave money for its erection, but the church was mainly built ... Read more
Statue Commemoration of 1820 riot. Sculpter Angela Hunter The sculpture commemorates a dreadful day in Greenock's history. Economic downturn after the Napoleonic Wars led to higher prices and unemployment. There was general unrest among wor... Read more
The White Hart Hotel stood at the junction of Cathcart Square and Cathcart Street and was originally founded about 1770. The White Hart claimed to be the oldest commercial hotel in the town and was a popular meeting place for Bailies and Co... Read more
William Street is one of the oldest streets in Greenock and sits at the very centre of the old historic centre of the town, near Cathcart Square and the municipal building. It was created in 1751 and is named after William Alexander, the ... Read more
Birthplace of Inventor James Watt Watt, Greenock’s most famous son, was born in 1736. His improvements to the steam engine led to efficient steam power and were fundamental to the world’s first industrial revolution. He developed the te... Read more
The Dutch Gable House is one of the oldest buildings in Greenock, built in 1755 it is now being developed by Inverclyde Community Development Trust into a community space for heritage, arts and enterprise activity...
  Cowans Corner Bombed The Greenock Blitz was two nights of intensive bombing of the town of Greenock, Scotland during the Second World War when the Luftwaffe attacked in May 1941. The raids targeted the many ships and shipyards around the... Read more
Greenock's Town Hall and Municipal Buildings were built originally in the 1880s  Greenock Town Hall is part of Inverclyde Council’s municipal buildings which were completed in 1889. The building is ornately decorated both internally and ... Read more
It commemorates Greenock's long-gone shipyards and the thousands of men who worked in them. "Men of the Clyde" Sculpture by Naomi Hunt DA Clyde Square Cathcart Street Greenock Scotland life size resin bronze metal public art street art scul... Read more
This area has changed many times over the years, opening up from the demolition of houses to create a wide open space as seen in the photos. In the 60s this was changed to the layout seen today. Play Video on YouTube ...


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