Dumbarton Castle History
Dumbarton Castle has
the longest recorded history of any fort in Britain.
Built on a volcanic plug, this was the ancient capital of
Strathclyde, which was an independent kingdom until 1018. Mary, Queen of Scots left from
Dumbarton Castle for France in 1548 at the age of
The Dumbarton Rock has been defended until
modern times, and was last used in World War II.
The rock is split in two, with a level area between which was
the site of the ancient buildings.
The Castle Today
Today only the French Prison is there, plus the
This is reached from the King George Battery and Governor’s
House (both of 1735), passing through the guardhouse (16th century) and the 14th century
portcullis arch, which is the oldest surviving structure.
The guardhouse has a display room, with medieval grave slabs and
more modern uniforms.
Castle Road 344 steps climb up to the White Tower, with the highest
point at 240ft, with a viewpoint, flagstaff and remnants of a tower.
The east rock, or The Beak, has a magazine dated to 1748. It was designed by
William Skinner to store 150 barrels of gunpowder.
The whole rock is of interest for its fortifications, seven
batteries with 19th century guns, steep paths, and spectacular views of Ben Lomond and the
Firth of Clyde.
Dumbarton Castle Map&Location
Address: Dumbarton Castle Castle Road, Dumbarton, Dunbartonshire
G82 1JJ, United Kingdom. Get help with directions using the map provided
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