Inverkip looks across the Firth of Clyde towards Dunoon and the Cowal peninsula. The name comes from the Kip Water, which flows into the Clyde here, though at times it was know as Daff after a second small river flowing through it. The name was fixed as Inverkip with the establishment of a Post Office in 1825 and a penny postal service to Greenock five miles to the north east.
Inverkip has an ancient history. A church was first built here by the monks of Paisley Abbey in 1188, serving a widely drawn congregation in what, at the time, was still part of the Kingdom of Strathclyde. By 1301 a castle had been built a little to the north west of today's village. It was replaced by a much larger stone keep built in the 1400s by Sir John Shaw Stewart, who had been granted the estate by his father, Robert III, in 1403. The Shaw Stewart family later moved to Ardgowan House, which they built close by in 1798. They have lived there ever since.
In the 1600s Inverkip was became infamous as a centre, allegedly, for witchcraft, and many burnings of women accused of being witches took place. It was even said that a local landowner, Alexander Dunrod, was a practising warlock living with witches among his tenants.
The 1970s saw significant change in Inverkip. Work started on the building of the Inverkip Power Station, a short distance down the coast from the village. Sand and gravel used in its construction were dredged from the mouth of the River Kip leaving a large sheltered area of water. This opened as the Kip Marina in 1973. Inverkip Power Station, complete with its 600ft high tower, was completed in 1979. However by the time it was finished an oil fired power station was no longer thought to be economical, and it only saw use once, during the miners' strike of 1984/5. It was mothballed for decades, before being demolished.
The 1970s also saw Inverkip bypassed by a new stretch of the A78 which runs between the old heart of the village and Kip Marina. Though dividing the two, this took through traffic out of Inverkip's narrow main street, making an already very attractive village even more so.
Kip Marina has gone from strength to strength, with a startling forest of masts on view. And in a recent development, new housing has been built around the marina, obviously targetted at commuting boat-owners, or just those who want - and can afford - to live in a nautical environment. The new and old parts of Inverkip are linked together by a pedestrian bridge over the A78.
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