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Dumbarton Castle
NS 400-744 Dunbartonshire Scotland

Dumbarton Castle Dumbarton Castle was originally a Dark-Age stronghold and the capital of the British kingdom of Strathclyde. Standing on a volcanic rock overlooking the Firth of Clyde, in the early 13th century King Alexander II founded a formidable stone castle. In 1305 during the Wars of Independence, William Wallace may have been held prisoner here and in 1333 the young King David II sheltered in the castle. In 1489 King James IV besieged Dumbarton twice and then used it as a base to destroy the Lord of the Isles. In the 16th and 17th century, the castle changed hands many times and the young Mary, Queen of Scots was kept here before going to France. Badly damaged during this period, its role as a garrison fortress continued and substantial new artillery fortifications were built in the 17th and early 18th century. Nothing survives from the Dark-Age fortress and there are only fragmentary remains of the medieval, White and Wallace Towers and the Portcullis Arch. The rest of the buildings and walls on or around the twin peaks of White Tower Crag and the Beak, date from the 18th and 19th century.

Street Map

Dumbarton Castle is located south of the town centre, off Castle Road. 15 miles north-west of Glasgow, on the A814.

The site is owned by Historic Scotland and is open daily, April to September 9:30-5:30pm October 9:30-4:30pm, November to March Saturday to Wednesday 9:30-4:30pm.

There is a car park.

Dumbarton Castle pictures and large castle map
Dumbarton Castle Picture 1Dumbarton Castle Picture 2Dumbarton Castle Picture 3Castle Map of the Area

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