ONE of Inverclyde's most mysterious landmarks has been cleaned up as the council plays catch up with grounds maintenance work after the pandemic.

Visitors both local and from further afield visit the Granny Kempock Stone in Gourock to marvel at it and learn about its fascinating background.

With links to witchcraft, pagan Gods and a superstition involving sailors walking around it seven times to keep them safe, the stone on a cliff side up above Kempock Street has legendary status.

But residents living nearby raised concerns about the site looking overgrown and contacted local councillors to push for a tidy up at the Burgh Walk site.

Now a team has been out to maintain the monument for passers-by like Greenock's Sheyn McWilliams.

The care worker, from Ardgowan Square, said: "We were out for a walk and wanted to come by the Granny Kempock Stone, as I have heard all about it.

"It is lovely here.

"There are some great places to walk in Inverclyde and I enjoy exploring them all.

"I can see why people would want it to be kept nice.

"I love living here and I am really impressed with the stone."

Sheyn, 58, is just one of the many people who pass by the stone, which sits on a hillside overlooking the Clyde, with many stopping to take photos.

Its condition prompted residents to raise concerns about the need to keep on top of the vegetation.

Gourock councillor Lynne Quinn said: "I think there has been a backlog for the maintenance team and they have been to attend to the stone now.

"The location of the site can be challenging.

"We are contacted from time to time about the stone and we alert the council."

When contacted by the Tele the council confirmed the site had been tidied up with vegetation cut back, hedges trimmed and litter removed.

The spruce-up is timely, with the stone at the centre of a new research project at the moment.

The Tele reported earlier this year how a geography expert from a Manchester university had teamed up with an archaeologist from the University of Glasgow to produce a paper on the iconic object.

It is of indeterminate origin, but it has been suggested that it is an old altar to a pagan god, or a memorial to an ancient battle.

Some believe the stone's original location may have been elsewhere and that it may have been used as an anchor stone or counterweight, and the new research aims to cast new light on its origins.