Old Gourock

The photographs and postcards of old Gourock from 1880 until 1920 record a crucial period in the development of the town. It originally came into being as a fishing village in the eighteenth century and then, with the arrival of the steamboat at the start the nineteenth century, into a port for catching steamers to the Highlands and the West coast. The arrival of the new railway terminal in June 1889 resulted in a considerable increase of visitors to the town as the railway enabled thousands of day trippers to visit. The period also resulted in an expansion of the town as the railway turned the town into a practical place of residence for those working in Glasgow.

The best known monument in the area is Granny Kempock's Stone, a block of megalithic schist, which has many legends attached to it. It was said that couples would walk round the stone to ensure good fortune and mariners would visit the stone for a safe journey. The darker side of the stone's history can be seen in a witch trial of 1662, when it was alleged that the defendants had danced round the stone on the sabbath.

See thousands of images and records from the collections of the McLean Museum and Inverclyde Archives on our Collections Online website. Use the link on the left of this page to take you there.