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    The potent urban prehistory of an ancient megalith: the Kempock Stone, Gourock, Scotland

    Edensor, Tim ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4715-6024 and Brophy, Kenneth (2023) The potent urban prehistory of an ancient megalith: the Kempock Stone, Gourock, Scotland. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 29 (1-2). pp. 81-96. ISSN 1352-7258

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    Abstract

    This paper focuses on the modern biography of a prehistoric stone of uncertain provenance, the megalith known as the Kempock Stone or Granny Kempock that has stood in the Clydeside town of Gourock for at least several hundred years. Rather than fous on a specific prehistoric period of creation and installation, or speculate upon its original function, this account explores the numerous stories that have accumulated around the stone over the past two centuries, revealing its composite biography. In addition, the paper also identifies the plethora of practices that have focused upon the stone over the years. In adopting an urban prehistory that concentrates upon surviving prehistoric places, sites and things that survive in urban places, we investigate how these narratives and practices significntly contribute to the rich heritage of this monolith. In contending that a better understanding of the social benefits of monoliths in urban places is long overdue, we also exemplify the contemporary value such sites play in consolidating local identities, enriching heritage and hosting a wealth of shared cultural practices.

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