Thanks to Ian Barr of
Inverkip for Research & Presentation
Old Names :- "Auld Kirk",
Lat / Long :- 55 54.8' N / 4 51.6' W
Site & Situation
The village of
Inverkip lies at the mouth of the river Kip, forming the
easterncoastline of the firth of Clyde .
Originally Inverkip was
seven miles in length E - W and six miles in breadth.
Much of the
land away from the coastal strip consists of hill and upland ,
except for the valleys of the Kip and Daff rivers.
he climate is
temperate and rain can be frequent and heavy but the sea air ensures
that frost and snow seldom remain for long periods. The summer
warmth is also moderated by these influences.
A Brief History
The history of Inverkip stretches back at least 830
years, what follows are the notable eventsduring this period. In the
theSheriff of Lanark gave a grant of land to the monks of Paisley
Abbey; the land was described as "The penny land between the
rivulets Kip and Daff".
The monks by 1188 had built a church on the site of the
present old graveyard , this being ahundred years before William
Wallace raised his standard against the English.
church served the population from Kilmacolm to Largs for 400 years.
In these heady days,Inverkip lay in the heartland of the Britons of
1301 a castle was built on Ardgowan Estate and in the
year 1403 Sir John Shaw Stewart was given the Ardgowan land and
castle; this family still own and run this estate and farms to this
Inverkip Auld Kirk ceased. In these days Inverkip
was a rural district sustained by agriculture and fishing. Very
little building had taken place apart from two rows of houses on
either side of the main street stretching down to the
In 1589 the Old West Kirk in Greenock opened
and the great treks of the people to
A notorious claim to fame
during this period was witchcraft. From 1640 - 1690 witch mania was
rife; it is hard to imagine such a small area could be the centre of
this cult for 50 years.
The old manse Kirkbrae house was built
in 1730 and the old post office came in 1732 the frontage at 64 Main
street still exists.
In 1798, the present
Ardgowan house was built, and by 1803 the first proper road to Greenock was
constructed by Sir John Shaw Stewart. The present church was
completed in 1805
reputedly to a plan by the civil engineer Thomas Telford.
The Loch Thom water supply system was completed
in 1827 to supply Greenock. Loch
Thom is only a few miles up behind the village and was considered a
great engineering achievement in its' day.
In 1836 the two roomed school was built on its present site
in Station Road, the old original part of the school dates from that
time. 1849 was
a disastrous year, as the crops failed and one third of the
population died of cholera. Inverkip during the late eighteenth
century and early nineteenth century was noted for the frequent
smuggling activities from the many passing vessels heading for the
ports of Greenock and Port Glasgow. It is well documented that this
occupied much of the time and effort of the customs men of the
In 1865 when the Glasgow - Wemyss Bay
Caledonian Railway opened Inverkip changed from being a rural
agricultural village , to being more of a seaside resort busy with
trippers from Greenock to Glasgow. The local jetty from which
Ferries tendered to the passing Paddle Steamers fell out of use and
the steamer service stopped , goods and services then came by
rail,and in 1867 Inverkip Railway Station was built.
By 1900 a gas
supply was piped to the village from Bankfoot a small farm area one
mile outside the village, originally the Ardgowan Estate dairy
The Cooperative Society came to Inverkip in 1919 and
attracted 75% of the local trade. In 1920, the Daff reservoir was built behind
the village to supply water to Gourock. Electricity came in 1932 fed from the
Hydro in Skelmorlie. The mouth of the Kip was excavated in 1940 by the Army
RE Unit to store barges (now the site of Inverkip Marina).
During this period Ardgowan House became a hospital and 28
houses were built and occupied by the army in Daff Avenue , just off
the Main Street.
From 1951-1957 the County Council built the
Crawford Lane and Glebe Road housing schemes. This development lies
on the high ground behind the present church building. This provided
much needed affordable , good housing to many of the local people.
By 1966 the last steam train gave way to diesel-electric and
by 1973 the
present marina was opened. At this time a road bypass was initiated
to relieve the traffic congestion in the village.
The last large scale industrial
development was the opening of Inverkip Power Station in 1979 , the
stations' main 600 foot chimney stack serves as a local landmark.
Sadly the station is oil fired and was only used once during the
miner's strike of the 1980's_ it has now been mothballed.
the 1980's on the village has seen many large private housing
developments completed and many still under construction. The
village now serves largely as a commuter district to Greenock and
the major towns beyond.
Population : Since those distant times
the village population has grown from 200 to approx 2000. If
building continues at its' present rate the old village will soon be
considered a scattered township.