NS3975 : The College Bow

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

This is 1 of 3 images, with title The College Bow in this square
The College Bow
The College Bow
This is the second-oldest structure in Dumbarton (the oldest being Dumbarton Rock, a stronghold continuously occupied since at least 460AD; the third-oldest structure, and oldest standing building, is "Glencairn's Greit House", built in 1623: NS3975 : Glencairn's Greit House).

The College Bow is a pointed stone arch, the only substantial surviving remnant of St Mary's Collegiate Church (although some much smaller components of the Collegiate Church are extant; see, for example, NS3975 : Ancient stones, Glencairn's Greit House and NS3975 : Old stone, Dumbarton Library). The Collegiate Church was founded c.1450 by Isabel (Isabella), countess of Lennox, and the arch was probably part of its tower.

In the background, the railway line, near Dumbarton Central Station, crosses above the road. For a view of the College Bow in the opposite direction, see NS3975 : The College Bow.

Dr I.M.M.MacPhail's "Dumbarton Through the Centuries" (1972) notes that "there stood near the site of the present Central Railway Station the Chapel of St Mary, which was mentioned in a fourteenth century document in connection with the loss of the seal of the Bishop of Glasgow nearby and its subsequent discovery by a monk" and that the Collegiate Church of St Mary "was built on the lands of the earlier Chapel of St Mary at the site of the present Central Railway Station".

This archway has been moved more than once. In 1850, when the railway was built, it was moved to form a gateway for the Burgh Academy, further down College Street (the medieval Cross Vennel). It was moved again in 1907 to its present location, standing in front of NS3975 : Dumbarton Municipal Buildings, a portion of which can be seen in the opposite-direction view of the College Bow (link given earlier).
The College Bow

This arch, which has been relocated twice in recent centuries, is a remnant of St Mary's Collegiate Church, which was built c.1450. See LinkExternal link (at WoSAS) for further details. The College Bow now stands on the eastern side of Dumbarton Municipal Buildings ( Link ). Other, smaller fragments of the Collegiate Church survive: for example, in Glencairn's Greit House ( Link ).

Dumbarton Municipal Buildings

The buildings were erected on College Park (the former grounds of College Park House). The land was bought from the railway company by Lord Overtoun, and gifted by him to the burgh. The buildings, by James Thomson, were officially opened in 1903. The College Bow Link now stands in the grounds, as do a Boer War Memorial Link and a statue of Peter Denny Link

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Grid Square
NS3975, 598 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Tuesday, 23 November, 2010   (more nearby)
Friday, 10 December, 2010
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts 
Place (from Tags)
Arches   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 3979 7551 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:56.7505N 4:34.0216W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 3977 7550
View Direction
East-northeast (about 67 degrees)
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Other Tags
Arch  Archaeology  St Marys Collegiate Church 

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