Old Photograph Town Building Fore Street Port Glasgow Scotland

Old photograph of the Town Building on Fore Street in Port Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland. This distinguished building, whose steeple dominates the harbour area of the port, was designed by the Glasgow architect David Hamilton and built between 1813 and 1816. When built, it housed a Council Chamber, Justices Court House, Prison, Bridewell and other public accommodations. From at least the middle of the 19th century, part of the ground floor contained shops and the first floor a reading room and merchants' counting offices. As early as 1668 the magistrates of Glasgow were granted a free port at Newark, with power to erect and build bulwarks. In 1803 the old town hall was found to be inadequate and an Act of Parliament was obtained to allow for new public buildings. A Mr Wood was requested to prepare a plan of the proposed Prison, Council Chamber and other public buildings, but it was to be ten years before work began in earnest. New plans were obtained in 1813 from William Burn and David Hamilton, those by Hamilton being chosen while Burn, after insistent demands, was paid £100. Local contractors were employed, John Robb of Johnstone being responsible for mason work and Roderick Young of Port Glasgow for wrightwork. When completed, at the end of 1816, the total cost of the new building was £12,000, funded mainly by bonds and public subscription.

All photographs are copyright of Sandy Stevenson, Tour Scotland, and may not be used without permission.

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