The town of Greenock grew from a fishing village to become the site of the first dock on the River Clyde in 1711. Fishing and shipbuilding became its major industries and the area served as a jumping off point for passenger ships departing for Canada and the U.S., as well as many vital convoys during the Second World War. The town’s maritime history is celebrated at the Custom House Museum in the Princes Pier Railway Station and in the scale model of a 20-gun frigate suspended above the Sailor’s Loft of Old West Kirk. Built in 1591, Old West Kirk (church), contains a major collection of Pre-Raphaelite stained glass windows.
Much of Greenock retains its impressive Victorian and heritage sandstone buildings. Majestic Victoria Tower, built in1886, stands 245’ (75 m) tall. Traditional St John's Episcopal Church, historic Greenock Cemetery and the imposing massif of the 15th century Newark Castle speak to the city’s earliest days.