NS3974 : Dumbarton Rock: The Guard House

taken 13 years ago, near to Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire, Great Britain

Dumbarton Rock: The Guard House
Dumbarton Rock: The Guard House
[This is one of a linked series of articles about Dumbarton Rock. See the end of LinkExternal link for a list of the reference works that are cited here in abbreviated form.]

The set of stairs visible here ascends from the Governor's House (see the previous item in this series) towards the upper part of the rock. In medieval times, the lower terrace where the Governor's House and King George's Battery now stand was known as the Nether Bailey, while the upper terrace between the two peaks of the Rock, an area where many buildings were located, was called the Over Bailey.

Between the two peaks of the Rock, a narrow ravine runs up from the Nether Bailey to the Over Bailey (corresponding to the line of the modern stairs). Two defensive structures spanned this ravine. The upper barrier, the Portcullis Arch, survives to this day, and is probably the oldest surviving structure on the Rock [HD, p77].

The lower barrier did not necessarily stand on the same site as the Guard House shown in this photo, which is evidently of a later date; it is probably sixteenth-century, although it has been subject to later alterations. The windows are eighteenth-century, but the smaller walled-up windows beside them are sixteenth-century, as are the oval gunholes visible at the top of the front wall [OSG92, p16].

At the upper right corner of the front wall is an interesting carved face; its position can be made out in this photo, and it is the subject of the next article in this series.

Previous: NS4074 : Dumbarton Rock: The Governor's House.
Next: NS3974 : Dumbarton Rock: Carved face on Guard House.
Dumbarton Rock and Castle :: NS4074
The Rock is a volcanic plug, and it has a long history as a fortified site. For further information, see the Geograph article "Dumbarton Rock and Castle": LinkExternal link
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NS3974, 231 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Monday, 8 August, 2005   (more nearby)
Wednesday, 1 July, 2009
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts 
Period (from Tags)
16th Century  18th Century 
Place (from Tags)
Dumbarton Rock 
Former (from Tags)
Guard House 
Historic building   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 3999 7445 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:56.1837N 4:33.7919W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 3999 7444
View Direction
North-northwest (about 337 degrees)
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