This site has always been strategically important.

It lies at the junction of the River Leven and the Clyde, and at the highest natural navigable point of the Clyde,with the volcanic mass of Dumbarton Rock to defend it. Dumbarton was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Strathclyde until 1018 and suffered Viking attack in 870. From the 13th century it was a royal burgh. The Castle was the main naval base for the Scottish kings in their ongoing struggle to control the Highland and Hebridean chieftains.

Looking up the High Street towards the handsome facade and spire of the 1811 Parish Church you can still get a sense of the town's historic character from the upper facades of the High Street shops.

On the right is the Glencairn Greit House, built in 1623 as the town house of the Earls of Glencairn.

View Dumbarton on Google maps (opens in new window).

  • Denny's Shipyard

    Denny's was the first commercial yard to use a ship model experiment tank. You can visit the tank which is now part of the Scottish Maritime Museum.

  • Dumbarton Castle

    Dumbarton Rock has a history dating back into the dark ages, making it the most ancient continuously fortified place in the British Isles.

  • Dumbarton Riverside Parish Church

    There has been a church on this historic site for many hundreds of years.

  • River Leven

    The River Leven flows out of Loch Lomond and joins the Clyde at Dumbarton.