Innellan Ferry ran from a rocky outcrop opposite Ferry Lane, formerly known as Innellan Farm Road. The ferry is understood to have operated for many years, finally coming to an end some time in the 19th century.
Unlike the modern concept of a ferry which runs between land based terminals, the ferry at Innellan was a service which carried passengers and goods between Innellan and the packet boats which sailed along the Firth of Clyde, and would have been a rowing boat owned and operated by the ferryman. The fare at Innellan is said to have included a free pint of beer in the Ferryman's House. The ferry landing area at the rocks was developed, and provided with a wall and handrail to assist disembarking travellers.
Such services were common at the time, and ran from many points along the firth, especially the islands, as the larger craft could not navigate the shallow waters away from the Clyde Channel. At some places, competition for this business was said to be fierce, with a number of boats racing to meet new arrivals in the firth, and win payment for their services.
The Ferryman's house
One local mystery has been the location of the Ferryman's house, as this was lost some years ago. However, in his book Innellan, printed in 1940, the Rev JC Hill wrote:
A little way down from the old manor house and just outside the railing of Manor Park garden, there stood for a long time a little low roofed, red tiled cottage, its roof bent down with age.
Unfortunately, this makes little sense in the 20th century, as the only railing remaining is at the back of Manor Park. Fortunately, examination of the 1849 feu map of the area - which can be found in the Castle House Museum, Dunoon - clearly shows where Ferry House was located, in front of Manor Park garden.
- Innellan, Rev JC Hill, 1940.
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