Ancient Monuments

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Dumbarton Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire

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Latitude: 55.9367 / 55°56'12"N

Longitude: -4.5631 / 4°33'47"W

OS Eastings: 239999

OS Northings: 674486

OS Grid: NS399744

Mapcode National: GBR 0M.YT15

Mapcode Global: WH3NQ.W19N

Entry Name: Dumbarton Castle

Scheduled Date: 25 April 1994

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM90107

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Crosses and carved stones: inscribed stone; Prehistoric domestic and defensive: fort (includes hill

Location: Dumbarton

County: West Dunbartonshire

Electoral Ward: Dumbarton

Traditional County: Dunbartonshire


The monument consists of a volcanic plug of basalt on which are the remains of a) a Dark-Age fort, b) a medieval castle, and c) a Georgian garrison.

The Dark-Age fort is represented by buried archaeological evidence and by two carved stones (located in the Governor's House). The medieval castle is represented by the Wallace Tower, the Portcullis Arch and the Guard House. The Georgian fortress is represented by the Governor's House, the French Prison, the Magazine and by the present curtain walls and gun-batteries.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan, consisting of the volcanic basalt plug with all its surviving buildings, walls, fences, stairs and paths, and measures 250m E-W by 260m N-S, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because Dumbarton Rock has one of the longest recorded histories as a stronghold in Britain. There is known to be significant archaeological evidence for the Dark-Age fort of Alcluith, which was the 'capital' of the British kingdom of Strathclyde. There are significant upstanding elements of the medieval royal castle, built as an important frontier fortress and later used as a place of safety and state prison. The fortifications and buildings constructed for the Georgian garrison in the 18th century are among the most important surviving in Britain.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NS47SW 5.


Alcock, L, 1975-76, 'A multi-disciplinary chronology for Alt Clut, Castle Rock, Dumbarton', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 107, 103-13.

MacIvor, I, 1986, Dumbarton Castle, Edinburgh.

McPhaill, I M M, 1979, Dumbarton Castle, Edinburgh.
Historic Environment Scotland Properties
Dumbarton Castle
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Related Designations

Designation TypeListed Building (A)StatusRemoved

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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