Thursday, 8 February 2018

5 things to see in Inverkip

The village of Inverkip in Inverclyde is a wonderful mixture of the old and the new and there are a couple of things that you shouldn't miss if you visit.

Impossible to miss is the Marina - Kip Marina has over 600 berths containing a wonderful variety of yachts of all sizes.  In summer it is nice to walk around the marina admiring the boats and watching the comings and goings in and out of the Marina, or sit and enjoy a some food and a glass of wine in the Chartroom restaurant.  Kip Marina is host to Scotland's Boat Show.  There's quite a lot of new housing in this area too.

Inverkip's main street is narrow and despite the parked cars and occasional bus, still gives you the idea of what the village would have been like in the past, with small houses and narrow lanes leading from them.  With lots of new housing up on the hill behind the village, it is mostly now a commuter village with regular transport links to Glasgow.  The main street also boasts the Inverkip Hotel, a former coaching inn, now a family run business with a great atmosphere and serving wonderful food.

Inverkip War Memorial - situated in a little car park on the edge of the village, on the banks of the River Clyde, this is a poignant reminder that despite being a small village, there were many local men who gave their lives in Britain's wars.  A lot of work has been done recently researching the names on the Memorial, which you can take a look here.

There has been a place of worship in Inverkip (sometimes written as Innerkip) since 1170.  The present Inverkip Parish Church (Church of Scotland) was built in  1806.  The building has a fascinating history and it is worth having a look at the Church website to read all about it.  Notice the fake window at the front - cute!  There is something quite plain, solid and almost comforting about this building - not sure why it makes me feel like that.

If, like me, you are fascinated by graveyards, then a visit to Inverkip graveyard (just up from the Church) will not disappoint.  The Shaw Stewarts of Ardgowan (local landowning family descended from an illegitimate son of King Robert III who granted the land in 1403) had their family mausoleum here.  It is a bit spooky and it is thought that the mausoleum was built from some of the stones from the original 12th century church (Auldchurch). 

All the Shaw Stewart memorial tablets are the same - which could perhaps mean that the originals were taken away and replaced.  The Shaw Stewarts built a private chapel (St Michael and All Angels, Episcopalian)  near Ardgowan House in the 1850s - so perhaps they were taken there.

Inverkip Graveyard also contains a wonderful memorial to James "Paraffin" Young and his wife, Mary, who once lived at Kelly House near Inverkip.

So, that's five things to do in Inverkip.  On a sunny day there are lovely views across the Clyde to sit and contemplate.  For the more active, there are plenty of walks and trails around the area or you could just sit back and relax in one of the great cafes and restaurants in the village.

Inverkip has a marvellous history - I'm sure I'll be writing some more posts about this village in the not too distant future!

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