Rock of the Clyde
— Dumbarton Castle —
Over the past 1,500 years the rock has served as the centre of the British kingdom of Strathclyde, a medieval frontier post, and on occasion, a royal residence.
Following the 1715 Jacobite Rising it became a garrison fortress, its impressive defences bristling with guns.
Did you know?
The rock is around 335 million years old. It was originally a plug of cooled lava blocking a volcano. The softer surrounding rocks have worn away leaving it standing prominently above the estuary.
1. Governor's House built in 1735 for John, 8th Earl of Cassilis.
2. Guard House: rebuilt in the 16th century.
3. Portcullis Arch: built late 14th century. Secured access from the south.
4. French Prison and remains of Wallace Tower: Built in 1790 and then used to hold prisoners from the Napoleonic Wars. Wallace Tower, built in the 1400's, may have served as a royal residence.
5. Battery: The Duke of Argyll's Battery was named in 1795 when it was upgraded to hold heavier guns.
6. Powder Magazine: built in 1748 to hold 150 barrels of gunpowder.
Saint Patrick of Ireland writes to King Ceretic of Strathclyde reprimanding him for raiding his Irish converts.
Vikings capture the Rock after a four-month siege.
William Wallace is captured by the keeper of Dumbarton Castle near Glasgow and sent to London.
James IV besieges the castle, then held by the rebellious Earl of Lennox.
Mary Queen of Scots stays at the castle for six months before sailing to France.
Major General Wade orders the wholesale refortification of the castles defences.
German bombs fall on Dumbarton Rock; its first attack in 300 years.