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Gourock ( , pimple-shaped or rounded, ) is a burgh in Inverclydemarker, Scotlandmarker. It has in the past functioned as a seaside resort on the Firth of Clydemarker. Its principal function today, however, is as a popular residential area, extending contiguously from Greenockmarker, with a railway terminus and ferry services across the Clyde.


As far back as 1494 it is recorded that James IV sailed from the shore at Gourock to quell the rebellious Highland clans. Two hundred years later William and Mary granted a Charter in favour of Stewart of Castlemilkmarker which raised Gourock to a Burgh of Barony. In 1784 the lands of Gourock were purchased by Duncan Darroch, a former merchant in Jamaicamarker. He built Gourock House near the site of the castle in what the family eventually gifted to the town as Darroch Park, later renamed by the council as Gourock Park.
The west front looking past the Royal Gourock Yacht Club to the pierhead.

From a small fishing village in the traditional county of Renfrewshire, Gourock grew into a community involved in herring curing, copper mining, ropemaking, quarrying and latterly yacht-building and repairing.

When the competing railway companies extended their lines to provide fast connections to Clyde steamer services the Pierhead was built as a railway terminus. Nowadays Caledonian MacBrayne car ferries sail from the pierhead to Dunoonmarker, a Clyde Marine ferry serves Kilcregganmarker and Helensburghmarker, and electric trains provide a service to Glasgowmarker from Gourock railway stationmarker at the pierhead. A rival car ferry service is run by Western Ferries from McInroy's Point on the west side of the town to Hunter's Quaymarker to the north of Dunoon.

Like many Scottish seaside towns, Gourock's tourist heyday was in the latter half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th. Evidence of this part of its past is gradually disappearing - The Bay Hotel and Cragburn Pavilion and The Ashton, three local landmarks, disappeared towards the end of the last century. At the same time, Gourock has continued to expand along the coastline, almost to the Cloch lighthouse which overlooks Innellanmarker on the western shore.

Places of interest

Gourock boasts one of the few remaining public outdoor swimming pools in Scotland. Gourock Outdoor Poolmarker was built in 1909 and reconstructed in 1969, it was once tidal and had a sandy floor, but is now a modern, heated facility, with cleaned sea water used in the saltwater pool.

The megalithic Kempock Stone, popularly known as "Granny Kempock Stone", stands on a cliff behind Kempock Street, the main shopping street. The supersition was that for sailors going on a long voyage or a couple about to be married, walking seven times around the stone would ensure good fortune. A flight of steps winds up from the street past the stone to Castle Mansions and St John's Church, whose crown steeple forms a landmark dominating Gourock. Kempock Street itself has a good variety of traditional shops including baker's and greengrocer's shops.

Gourock park was formerly the grounds of Gourock House, now demolished, and lies to the east of the town. Gourock Burn runs down to the west side of the park, and the Scout Hall of the 1st Gourock and 6th Renfrewshire Scout Troop, known as Colonel Darroch's Own, is on that side of Gourock Park. Within the Park lies Gourock Park Bowling Club, one of two bowling clubs in the town,the other being The Gourock Bowling Club in Barrhill Road. These clubs have strong links and also a healthy rivalry as can be seen on their respective and

Gourock also has a golf course, which stretches from behind Trumpethill to Levan estates.

Clan Darroch

The head of the Scottish clan Darroch is titled Duncan Darroch, 7th of Gourock, Lord of the Barony of Gourock. He is retired, was formerly a captain with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, and lives in Camberleymarker, Surreymarker.


Gourock's principal industry, apart from tourism and fishing, was small craft repair and chandlery. An eponymous ropework opened in the town but later moved to Port Glasgow. More recently opened a distribution centre at Faulds Park, an industrial estate to the south of the town.

Areas of Gourock

Ashtonmarker, Cardwell Bay, Levan, McInroy's Point, Midton, Trumpethill

Photographs of Gourock

Image:Gourock_sunset.jpg|Sunset view from Lyle HillImage:PS Waverley at Gourock 1990.jpg|The Waverley in front of the old Bay HotelImage:Cal-Mac HQ2005.jpg|Caledonian MacBrayne ferries at the pierheadImage:Gourock Kempock stone.jpg|Granny Kempock StoneImage:Gourock greengrocers ext.jpg|Greengrocer's shop in Kempock StreetImage:Gourock bakers.jpg|Baker's shop in Kempock StreetImage:Gourock swimming pool.jpg|Outdoor heated poolImage:Gourock from west 2004.jpg|Ashtonmarker Front promenade

Notable residents


External links

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