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Dumbarton RockDumbarton Rock

Old Dumbarton Scotland
Old Dumbarton Scotland

Dumbarton Reporter

Historic Dumbarton: A Scottish Burgh Survey (Scottish Burgh Surveys)

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Dumbarton is over looked by a large mass of basalt rock, 254 feet high. This rock probably has a longer history of fortification than most other similar sites in Britain, as
excavations have shown the remains of fortification by the Ancient Britons or Picts against probable incursions of other Picts or Northumbrian raiders from the south.
Dumbarton, or Dun Breatann, means " the fortress of the Britons" and in the Dark Ages it was also called Alcuith or Ailcluaithe, " Clyde Rock ". It is first mentioned in historical records dated a.d. 440-460, and later documents refer to the political history of Strathclyde and to its stronghold of Alcuith as well as to the kings who stayed there. In a.d. 756 Alcluith was besieged by Picts and Northumbrians who together forced the Britons to surrender. In 780, and again in 870. the Rock was besieged by Irish Vikings, who on the second occasion reduced the garrison by hunger and thirst after four months of fighting. The next mention of Strathclyde is made in the 10th Century, and in 1018 Malcom II set his grandson, Macbeth's predecessor, on the throne of Strathclyde. Duncan governed Dumbarton until 1034 when he succeeded his grandfather as king. Dumbarton Castle.


Cardross Castle stands near the mouth of the River Leven on the outskirts of Dumbarton and three miles east of the village of Cardross. It was the place where Robert I, the Bruce, spent his declining years. and where he died in 1329. Sir James Douglas set out from Cardross with the heart of the dead king, which he had requested should be buried in the Holy Land. Douglas fell in battle against the Moors in Spain, but the heart was eventually returned to Melrose Abbey.

East of Dumbarton, and to the West of Bowling in the Kilpatrick Hills is the ruin of Dunglass Castle, the seat of the Colquhoun family from the 15th Century to the 17th Century. Dunglass means "The Grey Fort", and this castle jutting out into the Clyde at a most strategic point was probably originally a dun or fort of the Britons of Strathclyde. The Romans too are thought to have had a station here.

Not far away from Dumbarton, at Bowling, are the remains of the Antonine Wall, built from turf and clay, which ran from Bo'ness in the east to Bowling in the west. This incredible defensive structure was built in about a.d. 143 to span the narrowest part of Scotland from coast to coast and act as a frontier line between the Forth and Clyde.

Dumbarton is home to the Scottish Pipe Band Championships. With Dumbarton Rock as a dramatic backdrop, this fantastic day of colour, spectacle, fun and music is the first of the year's championship-ranked piping events and is staged at Levengrove Park. The day starts at 9.00 a.m., building up to the march past of the bands and ending with the prize giving, performed by the championship chieftain. Saturday, May 16, 2009.

A visit to the Dumbarton Denny Ship Model Experiment Tank is a unique chance to step back into the world of the Victorian ship designer. Built in 1882 the Denny Tank was the first commercial ship model testing tank built in the world and it retains many original features today - a water tank as long as a football pitch, clay moulding beds for casting wax model ship hulls and the original Victorian machinery used for shaping models.

St Andrew’s Church is situated on a commanding position, standing high on the brow of the hill overlooking the town of Dumbarton with panoramic views of Dumbarton Rock, Rivers Clyde and Leven and the hills towards the Vale of Leven. Bellsmyre is nestling behind with the Kilpatrick Hills at the rear.

Dumbarton Riverside Church, is a striking building at the east end of Dumbarton High Street.

Dumbarton Football Club. The Sons of the Rock Founded in 1872.

Dumbarton, a town of Scotland, the chief town of the county of Dumbarton, is situated near the confluence of the River Leven with the Clyde.

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