"GOUROCK, bay, town, and quoad sacra parish, averagely 2¾ miles west-north-west of Greenock, Renfrewshire. The bay faces the north; is flanked on the west by Kempock Point; has a half-moon form on a chord of nearly a mile; and is a favourite anchoring place of yachts. The town curves round most of the bay to Kempock Point, and then under the name of Ashton extends about a mile to the south-west; is overhumng throughout by a diversity of braes and hills; commands, both from these and from most of its thoroughfares, delightful views across the firth; sprang from an ancient fishing hamlet, and became very early a favourite watering-place; consists chiefly of a single street-line on an ancient sea-beach, but includes numerous villas and other dwellings on the braes; contains, on a cliff behind the street-line at Kempock, a turretted edifice called Gourock Castle; communicates with all the Clyde steamers plying to places lower down the firth; communicates with Greenock also by tramway; and has a opost office with all departments under Greenock, a banking office, 3 small hotels, a good stone pier and jetty of 1840, a public institute erected in 1875-76 at a cost of more than £7000, an Established church of 1832, Free, United Presbyterian, and Episcopalian churches of later dates, Congregational and Roman Catholic chapels of 1880, and 2 large public schools of 1877. Pop. 3308. Gourock House, in sourthern vicinity of the town, is a modern mansion and stands on or near the site of an ancient castle of the Earls of Douglas. Pop. of the parish, 4263."
[From The Gazetteer of Scotland, by Rev. John Wilson, 1882.]
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