Saturday, September 26, 2009

Greenock: Well Park

I've been meaning to add a blog about this delightful and interesting little park for some time. I've only been there once (as far as I can remember) but it's well worth a visit. It was presented to the town in 1851 by Sir Michael Shaw-Stewart (1826–1903)

The main gates, looking straight towards the War Memorial

Children's play area

The Victoria Tower as seen from the park, part of the impressive Town Hall (which was built in 1886 at a cost of over £100,000) and which must surely be one of the finest municipal buildings in Scotland

Below: Some of the views over Greenock from the park, many looking towards the Clyde and the mountains of Argyll

Below: The War Memorial

Above: The well which gave the park its name, placed there by by the local laird John Shaw. There is a faded inscription, '1629', with his initials and those of his wife (Helen Housten). It was the original well for the residence of the Shaw family who were very influential on the
development of the town; their mansion house was at the bottom of Lynedoch Street but demolished in 1886 owing to railway tunnelling.

T.G. Snoddy wrote in his book, 'Round About Greenock' in 1937, "It is curious how both the retrospect and prospect of Greenock's life seem to take centre in the green open level which we call the Well-park. This spot after all was the cradle of local history. Here stood the old castle stead and the later mansion. From here the Galbraiths, the Shaws, and the Shaw Stewarts looked over the village or the growing town and guided the community's development."


Kirigalpoththa said...

Delightful place..indeed!

Jane said...

Thanks Kirigalpoththa!

Gerard Ward said...

A fine selection of pictures Jane,I think the town hall must be the most impressive in Scotland,yet it is often overlooked in books about Scottish architecture,I am sure I read some were that it wasn't the popular choice at the time and was criticised for its grandeur.

I love this part of Greenock ,when you look at some of the buildings you can still get an idea of how important and impressive Greenock must have been in its day.

Do you own a copy of T.G. Snoddys Round About Greenock ?


Jane said...

Thanks Gerry, I couldn't agree more! Yes, I've had Snoddy's book it for years but I don't remember where I got it from. It makes interesting reading. I like Daniel Weir's "History of the Town of Greenock" as well, now back in print. I bought a copy in the McLean Museum last year.

derek said...

it's a great park its been my pleasure to work in for the past 10 years. the view's are stunning early in the morning looking up the clyde

Jane said...

Hi Derek,
Lovely to hear from you. Thank you for all your hard work too - the park looked lovely when I was there, the flower beds were all beautiful. You must work very hard. Yes, I bet those views of the Clyde are fantastic first thing in the mornings!
Best wishes,

Anonymous said...

The tower in Greenock is 15ft higher than that of Glasgow City Chambers. I remember reading that this caused some controversy at the time.

Jane said...

That's fascinating, thanks for the info - I always like to know things like that! 15ft higher is a huge difference!!