|Location Map ( geo)
|Gourock Bay and the east side of the town from Lyle Hill
|Places related to the A770
Gourock is located on the south bank of the River Clyde in Renfrewshire, about 23 miles north west of Glasgow, where the river bends to head south towards the Atlantic Ocean. It is the smallest of the three towns administered by Inverclyde Council, the others being the more industrial Greenock and Port Glasgow. It was the location of the original terminus of the A8 at Kempock Point.
The main road through the town is the A770 which runs from Greenock to Inverkip, following the Clyde Coast for much of the way. The short A771 (less than a mile long) branches off to the north and the ferry terminal at Gourock Pier from the A770 at Cardwell Road. However, there are no scheduled vehicle ferry services from the pier now as it is used only as a backup for Wemyss Bay and Ardrossan.
The A770 was realigned in 2015,to separate north and south bound traffic at Kempock Street, which is the main shopping street in the town and was fraught with congestion and parking problems. South bound traffic continues to use Kempock Street, which is now one way. North bound traffic uses a new road which was built through the seafront car park and on a short stretch of land that was reclaimed from the Clyde.
In 1694 William and Mary granted a Charter in favour of Stewart of Castlemilk which raised Gourock to a Burgh of Barony. In 1784 the lands of Gourock were purchased by Duncan Darroch, a former merchant in Jamaica. 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 to Gourock Park.
From its beginnings as a small fishing village in the north west extremes of Renfrewshire, Gourock grew to be involved in herring curing, copper mining, ropemaking, quarrying and yacht-building & repairing.
The arrival of the railway in 1889 (Gourock is a terminus on the Inverclyde Line) established the town as a tourist attraction for the Glasgow masses who arrived by train and by steamer at the adjacent Gourock Pier for the 'Fair' holidays as well as for day trips. The recently renovated heated outdoor sea water swimming pool is a popular survivor of the heyday of the tourist trade which receded in the second half of the 20th Century. The town once boasted several fine large hotels, all of which have now closed (Bay Hotel, Queens Hotel, Castle Levan Hotel, Gantock Hotel).
The late 20th Century saw the establishment of several hi-tech factories at Faulds park at the south side of the town. The electronics boom bust, as it did throughout Scotland, and the largest factory unit there is now an Amazon Fulfilment Centre.
Back on the A770, near Faulds Park, the busy Western Ferries terminal at McInroys Point was established in 1971. This has two linkspans and operates a frequent vehicle and passenger service to Hunters Quay on the north bank of the Clyde.
The town is now largely a dormitory for nearby Greenock and Glasgow.
|Passenger ferries to Dunoon and Kilcreggan