Scheduled Monument

Dumbarton CastleSM90107

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (


Date Added
Crosses and carved stones: inscribed stone, Prehistoric domestic and defensive: fort (includes hill fort and promontory fort), Secular: artillery mount; castle
Local Authority
West Dunbartonshire
NS 39999 74486
239999, 674486


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.

Statement of National Importance

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.



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 Type
    Listed Building (A)

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for the designation of buildings, monuments, gardens and designed landscapes and historic battlefields. We also advise Scottish Ministers on the designation of historic marine protected areas.

Scheduling is the way that a monument or archaeological site of national importance is recognised by law through the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments of national importance using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The description and map showing the scheduled area is the legal part of the scheduling. The additional information in the scheduled monument record gives an indication of the national importance of the monument(s). It is not a definitive account or a complete description of the monument(s). The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief and some information will not have been recorded. Scheduled monument consent is required to carry out certain work, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Applications for scheduled monument consent are made to us. We are happy to discuss your proposals with you before you apply and we do not charge for advice or consent. More information about consent and how to apply for it can be found on our website at

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at


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