Mostly 17th or 18th century fortifications on a large, steep, twin-peaked rock; partly enclosed by irregular curtain walls
at south-west and north-east, with gun batteries.
Rubble-built throughout, with ashlar dressings. Entrance at
south: 19th century outer gate. Inner (Classical,
round-arched) gate, triangular-plan King George's battery
with circular sentinel box corbelled over southern angle and
simple, classical 3-storey and attic 3-bay governor's house
all by Captain John Romer, 1735, Military Engineer for
Scotland. Steps behind governor's house lead through rock
cleft and guardhouse (probably 16th century; gun ports,
carved mask stone and 2 18th century windows) and through
pointed narrow archway of portcullis arch (probably 14th
century). Well and 2-storey, 5-bay French prison (latter
built between 1750-1775) at head of cleft, and ruins of 1617
Wallace tower which formerly guarded north entrance. Site of
Mediaeval White Tower and modern view indicator on western
summit (White Tower Crag); 1748 magazine by William Skinner
on eastern summit (The Beak) beside 1735 sentinel box (also
by Romer) on eastern curtain wall.
Statement of Special Interest
Guardianship monument. Anciently Al Cluith. Scheduled Ancient Monument No 90107.
Dumbarton Castle has a longer record history as a stronghold
than any other place in Britain (first noted circa 440-460
AD) Formerly the centre of the ancient kingdom of
Strathclyde, and later, an important mediaeval royal castle.
Reports on excavations 1974-<> by Leslie Alcock published in
PSAS and Glasgow Archaeological Review.