Historically in Dunbartonshire, before the local government reorganisation in Scotland in 1975 it formed part of the small Joint Burgh of Cove and Kilcreggan. It remained in Dumbarton District until 1996 when it was transferred to Argyll and Bute with the rest of the peninsula.
In common with many villages in the area, it was home to wealthy Glasgow merchants and shipowners in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Several of the large houses have either been converted or have gone. Survivors include over a dozen houses by Alexander "Greek" Thomson: Craigrownie Castle, Glen Eden, Craig Ailey, Ferndean and Seymour Lodge, all dating from the 1850s. Of those not by Thomson, Hartfield was the summer residence of Lord Inverclyde became a YMCA hostel before its dereliction and demolition in the 1960s by Fraser Hamilton of Knockderry Farm.
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