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As far back as 1494 it is recorded that James IV sailed from the shore at Gourock to quell the rebellious Highland clans. Two hundred years later 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 in what they eventually gifted to the town as Darroch Park, later renamed by the council as Gourock Park. From a small fishing village in the traditional county of Renfrewshire, Gourock grew into a community involved in herring curing, copper mining, ropemaking, quarrying and latterly yacht-building and repairing. When the competing railway companies extended their lines to provide fast connections to Clyde steamer services the Pierhead was built as a railway terminus. Nowadays Caledonian MacBrayne ferries sail from the pierhead to Dunoon, a Clyde Marine ferry serves Kilcreggan and Helensburgh, and electric trains provide a service to Glasgow from Gourock railway station.

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