The large rounded mound shown in this image has a distinctly man-made appearance; it stands in isolation on what is now an otherwise flat area of land.
It is hard to get an accurate sense of scale from this image, but the mound measures 35 metres across; its height is therefore about 6 metres. Maps from the latter half of the nineteenth century show the mound, but leave it unexplained. Concerning this site, WoSAS makes the following comments: Link
I am indebted to one of my uncles, who passed on two traditional explanations, which he had learned from a former head gardener of Strathleven Estate. The first is that this is a burial mound. The second is that the mound was created for the occupants of nearby Strathleven House (NS3978 : Strathleven House
, built c.1690), who did not wish to see the huge cones of Dumbarton Glassworks from the windows of their home (these three cones dominated the Dumbarton skyline from c.1777 to 1850, and stood at what is now the site of NS3975 : Dumbarton Health Centre
; see NS3975 : The Artizan Bridge
Some simple calculations confirmed that mound lies exactly on a line between the house and the glassworks site. This does not confirm the explanation, but it does show it to be plausible; the mound would be almost as much of an eyesore, but the planting of trees on and around it would alleviate that.
The WoSAS link cited above mentions what appears to be a bank or levee, probably flood defences, depicted on the first-edition OS map of c.1860 as extending eastwards from the mound. On a later occasion, I noticed an embankment that may have been the base upon which those defences were built: NS3977 : Old embankment (detail)
On its NW side, set precisely at the foot of the slope, are some sections of a line of stones, consisting of a single course of large blocks of red sandstone, following the line of the edge of the mound. This was probably built to demarcate or contain the base of the mound. I looked for traces of similar lines of stones on the other sides of the mound, but found none. Of the two traditional explanations given for this mound, the presence of this bounding wall makes the second of these seem the more likely.