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Inverkip was made a burgh of barony before the Act of Union in 1707, with the parish containing all of Gourock, Wemyss Bay, Skelmorlie and part of Greenock. Inverkip Parish Church dates from 1804 and is on the site of an earlier, twelfth century, kirk. The graveyard contains the tomb of the chemist Dr. James Young who was nicknamed 'Paraffin' because of his pioneering work in oil technology. He lived at nearby Kelly House, which burnt down in 1913, the report laying blame with the suffragettes. The parish of Inverkip's chief claim to fame (or notoriety) was in relation to witches in the mid seventeenth century. A local verse recalls:

"In Auld Kirk the witches ride thick
And in Dunrod they dwell
But the greatest boom amang them all
Was Auld Dunrod himsel.

'Auld Dunrod' was the last of the Lindsay family of Dunrod Castle. As the result of a dissolute life he lost all his possessions and fell into the black arts. Local reputation had it that he was in league with the devil, and he died in mysterious circumstances in a barn belonging to one of his former tenant farmers. Nothing now remains of the castle which stood at the foot of Dunrod Hill.

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