NS3975 : Glencairn's Greit House

taken 10 years ago, near to Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire, Great Britain

Glencairn's Greit House
Glencairn's Greit House
This is the third oldest structure in Dumbarton (after Dumbarton Rock LinkExternal link and the College Bow - NS3975 : The College Bow), and the town's oldest standing building. It is sometimes also called Glencairn Greit House. It is shown in context here: NS3975 : Glencairn's Greit House in the High Street.

See the link in the end-note for a photograph of the house as it looked in c.1893; it is clear that the lower part of the building has been altered considerably; according to Frank Arneil Walker, in "North Clyde Estuary An Illustrated Architectural Guide" (1992), the three arched openings at street level were created in 1924-25.

The book "Historic Dumbarton - the Scottish burgh survey" (by Dennison and Coleman) provides some information about the house, including the following: the building is dated 1623 on its western dormerhead NS3975 : Glencairn's Greit House (detail) but may incorporate earlier fabric at basement level; it was built as a three-storeyed town house for the Earls of Glencairn, and was later occupied by the Dukes of Argyll.

There are two plaques on the front of the building, located on either side of the main entrance. One of them explains that the house was acquired by Dumbarton Town Council in 1924: NS3975 : Plaque on Glencairn's Greit House. The other plaque commemorates a visit of Robert Burns to Dumbarton on the 29th of June, 1787: NS3975 : Plaque on Glencairn's Greit House.

The little opening at the left-hand side of the house leads to a pend (a vaulted passageway) called NS3975 : Quay Pend; the view through this cobbled passageway is shown here: NS3975 : Arch tunnel by Dumbarton High Street. The two projecting stones that can be seen above its entrance are much older than the house or the pend: NS3975 : Ancient stones, Glencairn's Greit House.

A much more recent stone is located at ground level, immediately to the left of the entrance of Quay Pend: NS3975 : The former Burton's building: foundation stone / NS3975 : Quay Pend.
Glencairn's Greit House
The house was built for the Earls of Glencairn, and dates back to 1623, if not earlier. Although much modified since then, it is Dumbarton's oldest standing building. See LinkExternal link for a photograph of it, taken in the 1890s.
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Lairich Rig and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
TIP: Click the map for Large scale mapping
Change to interactive Map >
Grid Square
NS3975, 540 images   (more nearby )
  (find more nearby)
Date Taken
Wednesday, 3 December, 2008   (more nearby)
Wednesday, 3 December, 2008
Geographical Context
City, Town centre  Historic sites and artefacts 
Period (from Tags)
17th Century 
Place (from Tags)
Historic building   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 3951 7523 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:56.5941N 4:34.2803W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 3951 7525
View Direction
South-southwest (about 202 degrees)
Looking for a postcode? Try this pageExternal link
Clickable map

Image classification(about): Geograph
This page has been viewed about 634 times.
View this location: KML (Google Earth) · Google MapsExternal link · Bing MapsExternal link · Geograph Coverage Map · geotagged! More Links for this image
W Go E
You are not logged in login | register