The Kempock Stone, or "Granny Kempock" as it is referred to locally because of its faint resemblence to a figure, is
a monolith about 6 feet high, and is now surrounded by buildings on Kempock Street and Castle Gardens. At one time, however,
it was a prominent object on the hillside, and well-known to shipping passing on the river. Its origin is uncertain - different
theories are that it is the landmark of some early battle (the name 'Kemp' means champion), or that it is a site of ancient
It was always regarded with reverence and superstition, and it is said that sailors and fishermen used to walk round
Granny Kempock seven times, chanting a song asking for a safe and prosperous voyage. For many years also, marriages in the
district were not regarded as lucky unless the bride and groom passed round the stone, and obtained Granny Kempock's blessing.
"It was chiefly in connection with the winds and sea that the Kempock Stane was regarded with superstitious dread
… sailors and fishermen were wont to take a basketful of sand from the shore and walk seven times round Granny Kempock,
chanting a weird song to insure for themselves a safe and prosperous voyage."
Rev. D. Macrae, "Notes about Gourock", 1880.