As Scotland is set to celebrate 2017 as the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, SNP MSP Stuart McMillan has encouraged the public to make a New Year’s Resolution to visit some of Scotland’s stunning historic sites – starting in Inverclyde.
Official figures show that Scotland’s historic and cultural sites continue to draw visitors in their millions.
Historic Environment Scotland’s staffed sites attracted over 3.75 million visitors in 2015 – a significant increase since 2010. The National Trust for Scotland has also reported growing numbers of visitors in recent years, with 2.65m visitors in 2016 according to figures sourced by SPICe.
The 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is expected to increase visitors even further, with events planned across the country.
SNP MSP Stuart McMillan highlighted Inverclyde’s rich heritage – and said that residents don’t need to travel far to get a sense of history:
“Scotland’s historic sites continue to attract millions of visitors – and it’s not hard to see why. Scotland boasts some of the best historical, cultural and natural sites in the world.
“Inverclyde has a rich and varied heritage which can often be overlooked by local residents. Greenock was the birthplace of James Watt – the godfather of the industrial revolution.
“The remains of the castle at Ardgowan Estate in Inverkip, originally built as a watchtower to ward off the Vikings, was a crucial location in the Wars of Independence as Robert the Bruce fought to save it from the English forces before the Battle of Bannockburn.
“Port Glasgow is home to Newark Castle, built in the 15th Century, which is remarkably well-preserved building sitting on the south shore of the Firth of Clyde and enjoying wonderful views across the river
“In the late-eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Greenock was at the apex of international trade and migration, gaining prominence with networks in North America and the West Indies.
“In 1818, the Customhouse was built at what was then known as Steamboat Quay. This was the point of arrival for dozens of thousands migrants stepping foot on Scottish soil for the first time, or the departure point for so many Scots who left for the ‘New World’.
“As the town industrialised and developed, the social conditions for ordinary workers deteriorated. In 1820, Greenock was the site of an armed struggle between authorities and ordinary citizens who protested against the imprisonment of political rebels, resulting in the death of 8 citizens. This is commemorated by the memorial near the site on Bank Street.
“As we mark the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology in 2017, we should all make a New Year’s Resolution to visit some of the exceptional historic sites on our doorstep.”