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Innellan is village that lies on the east shore of the Cowal peninsula, on the Firth of Clyde, 4 miles south of the town of Dunoon in Scotland, United Kingdom.

[edit] History

The origin of the name "Innellan" is obscure. The village was developed as a holiday destination in Victorian times on the site of a smaller and older farming settlement, and the first steamboat pier was built in 1851. [1] [2] With a resident population of around 1000, (growing to many more in summer), Innellan found prosperity as one one of many seaside resorts along the banks of the River Clyde serving tourist traffic primarily coming from the city of Glasgow further upriver.

This prosperity started to fade in the 1960s with the increasing availability of foreign holidays to the general public. Competing against resorts in Europe that enjoyed Mediterranean climates, the popularity of all the Clyde seaside resorts fell.

It was around this time that an American naval base in the nearby Holy Loch was established, providing some aid to the local economy, although being controversial. (The base was withdrawn in the 1990s).

The village's most striking landmark from its heydey as a seaside resort - the large Royal Hotel that overlooked the pier - was destroyed by fire in 1981 and the site has yet to be redeveloped. (The entrance gates to its former site on Pier Road still show the sign for the hotel Innellan's pier, which passenger steamers regularly called at whilst the area was booming, was extended in 1901 but finally closed in 1972 in response to reduced usage. After falling into increasing disrepair, it was fully dismantled in the mid-1990s.

Innellan Primary School, established in 1868, has a distinguished history. Its headmaster from 1938 to 1972 was the notable Latin scholar Thomas Muir, who was also an accomplished amateur geologist. He revelled in the fact that Innellan was the southwestern extremity of the Highland Boundary Fault, and would regularly send his pupils on field excursions along the shore – but not in the school’s time.[3]

Innellan once had four churches; two Church of Scotland, one Free Church and one Episcopal. Two of them still stand; the former West Church is now a house, and the remaining (and still functioning) church was the charge of the Reverend Dr George Matheson, the blind minister who wrote the hymn “Oh Love that wilt not let me go.” [3]

The only history of Innellan ever printed was written by the Rev John Hill, minister of the Matheson Church, in 1950 [3] It is out of print, and was in any case somewhat preoccupied with religious affairs. Innellan awaits its true historian.

[edit] Innellan today

Innellan remains a beautiful village and, along with nearby Dunoon, has in recent years attempted to reclaim a role as a tourist destination. Nowadays its appeal lies more in being a pleasant and tranquil place to retreat to or as a potential location to commute to Glasgow or Dunoon from.

Innellan boasts very impressive views across the Firth of Clyde; stretching from Kilcreggan and Loch Long (looking north) to Cumbrae Head and Ailsa Craig (looking south). There is a local 9-hole golf club, with its course on the hill, which has no shortage of applicants for membership.

The village’s strip of shops (which once numbered fourteen) has now been reduced to just the Post Office, but other services are provided by the nearby town of Dunoon, which is linked by a bus service.

[edit] References

  1. , Williamson (1902). Clyde Passenger Steamers 1812-1901. 
  2. , Dunoon Observer News Archive, Retrieved 29 April 2008
  3. , a b c Hill, Rev. John (1950). Innellan. Church of Scotland Hymnary. .

(Source: Wikipedia)
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