Gourock - Encyclopedia

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GOUROCK, a police burgh and watering-place of Renfrewshire, Scotland, on the southern shore of the Firth of Clyde, 3t m. W. by N. of Greenock by the Caledonian railway. Pop. (1901) 5261. It is partly situated on a fine bay affording good anchorage, for which it is largely resorted to by the numerous yacht clubs of the Clyde. The extension of the railway from Greenock (in 1889) to the commodious pier, with a tunnel i 3 m. long, the longest in Scotland, affords great facilities for travel to the ports of the Firth, the sea lochs on the southern Highland coast and the Crinan Canal. The eminence called Barrhill (480 ft. high) divides the town into two parts, the eastern known as Kempoch, the western as Ashton. Near Kempoch point is a monolith of mica-schist, 6 ft. high, called "Granny Kempoch," which the superstitious of other days regarded as possessing influence over the winds, and which was the scene, in 1662, of certain rites that led to the celebrants being burned as witches. Gamble Institute (named after the founder) contains halls, recreation rooms, a public library and baths. It is said that Gourock was the first place on the Clyde where herrings were cured. There is tramway communication with Greenock and Ashton. About 3 m. S.W. there stands on the shore the familiar beacon of the Cloch. Gourock became a burgh of barony in 1694.

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