Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for Innerkip

Innerkip, a village and a coast parish of W Renfrewshire. The village lies, completely buried among trees, on the left bank of the Kip, 3 furlongs above its influx to the Firth of Clyde and ¼ mile NNE of Innerkip station on the Greenock and Wemyss Bay railway, this being 2 ¼ miles N by E of Wemyss Bay, 5 ¾ SW of Upper Greenock, and 28 ¼ W by N of Glasgow. A little place, consisting chiefly of two long rows of houses on either side of the turnpike road, it has a post office under Greenock, an hotel, a gas company, a plain parish church (1803; 600 sittings) with clock-tower and spire, a Free church, and St Patrick's Roman Catholic church (1875; 130 sittings), whilst 7 furlongs to the N is the Episcopal church of St Michael and All Angels, the private chapel of the Shaw-Stewarts, whose mausoleum is in the old burying-ground. Innerkip was made a burgh of barony before the Union, with the right of holding three annual fairs; was often known as Auld Kirk after the erection of the first church at Greenock (1592); and is memorable in connection with the witchcraft trials of 1662, already noticed under Gourock, and fully described in Sir George Mackenzie's Witches of Renfrewshire (1678; new ed., Paisley, 1878). The original parish church was granted to Paisley Abbey soon after its foundation in 1169, and was held by the monks down to the Reformation. Pop. of village (1861) 449, (1871) 637, (1881) 580.

The parish, containing also the town of Gourock and the stations of Ravfenscraig and Wemyss Bay, is bounded W and N by the Firth of Clyde, E by Greenock, SE by Kilmalcolm, and S by Largs in Ayrshire. Its utmost length, from N to S, is 5 ¼ miles; its utmost width, from E to W, is 4 3/8 miles; and its area is 13, 2373/8 acres, of which 279 are foreshore and 409 water. The coast-line, 9 ½ miles long, is fringed by the narrow low platform of the firth's old sea-margin, and slightly indented by Gourock, West, Lunderston, Innerkip, and Wemyss Bays; its special features are treated under Gourock, Cloch Point, and Wemyss. Inland the surface rises somewhat steeply to 478 feet at Barr Hill, 610 at Borneven Hill, 701 at White Hill, 907 at Leap Moor, 936 at Dunrod Hill, 910 at Scroggy Bank, and 1446 at Creuch Hill, whose summit, however, falls within Kilmalcolm. Loch Thom (1¾ x ½ mile) and four or five smaller reservoirs of the Greenock Waterworks lie close to the eastern border; Kelly Burn flows 3¾ miles west-south-westward to the firth along most of the Ayrshire boundary; and the Kip winds 4 miles westward through the interior, by the way receiving Spango and Daff Burns, the latter of which, from its source upon Leap Moor, hurries 1½ mile north-north-westward along a rocky, richly-wooded glen. The landscape generally is very charming; and the views from the higher grounds are grand beyond description. The predominant rocks are Igneous and Upper Old Red sandstone. Craigmuschat quarry, near Gourock, for upwards of sixty years has yielded abundance of porphyritic greenstone, well adapted for paving; good building material is furnished by the sandstone, and excellent road-metal by dykes of trap. The soil is light and sandy along the shore, moister and verging to red gravel on the higher arable grounds, and moorish or moss on the uplands. Rather more than a third of the entire area is in tillage; 550 acres are under wood; and nearly all the remainder is either pasture or waste. The chief antiquities are noticed under Ardgowan, Dunrod, Gourock, and Leven. Mansions, also noticed separately, are Ardgowan, Gourock House, Kelly House, and Leven Castle; and 5 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 46 of between £100 and £500, 85 of from £50 to £100, and 71 of from £20 to £50. Including nearly the whole of Gourock quoad sacra parish and a portion of that of Skelmorlie, Innerkip is in the presbytery of Greenock and synod of Glasgow and Ayr; the living is worth £390. A public school, with accommodation for 229 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 118, and a grant of £117, 4s. Valuation (1860) £21,973, (1883) £52, 588, 16s. Pop. (1801) 1367, (1831) 2088, (1861) 3495, (1871) 4502, (1881) 5359, of whom 899 were in the ecclesiastical parish.—Ord. Sur., shs. 29, 30, 1873-66. See Gardner's Wemyss Bay, Innerkip, and Largs (Paisley, 1879).

(F.H. Groome, Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1882-4); © 2004 Gazetteer for Scotland)

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a village and a coast parish"   (ADL Feature Type: "populated places")
Administrative units: Inverkip ScoP       Renfrewshire ScoCnty
Place: Inverkip

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