NS3974 : Dumbarton Castle: level space between the peaks

taken 4 years ago, near to Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire, Great Britain

Dumbarton Castle: level space between the peaks
Dumbarton Castle: level space between the peaks
The western peak is the White Tower Crag, and the eastern one is the Beak. This level ground between them is a natural place to build, and, at the end of the nineteenth century, there were several more buildings here than there are at present (the only building now standing here is NS3974 : Dumbarton Rock: the French Prison).

A figure can be seen at the far end of the path, showing where the stairs passing under the Portcullis Arch emerge (NS3974 : Dumbarton Rock: the Portcullis Arch).

Between that spot and the one from which the picture was taken, there were a few more buildings; working from far to near, they were: the Master-Gunner's House, the Armoury, and a wash-house.

The Master-Gunner was, at that time, nominally in charge, but his role, though still important, was largely ceremonial, rather than an active military one; he would show visitors around, and would receive tips from them. The Armoury was conveniently adjacent to his quarters, and his wife might show visitors around it.

The contents of the Armoury in the 1870s consisted of such items as grapeshot, pikes (taken during the Radical Uprising of 1820), and various kinds of Lochaber axe, sgian-dubh, and pistol. The so-called Wallace Sword was still there (it had not yet been taken to the Abbey Craig, NS8095 : The Wallace Sword, Wallace Monument, Stirling, and when it was, the people of Dumbarton would have little say in the matter). It was viewed as inauthentic even then; in fact, although the sword was on display at Dumbarton Castle in the 1870s, those who showed visitors around the Castle had officially been warned not to pass it off as "the Wallace Sword".

Other buildings on this level space would have been seen when looking in the opposite direction: for example, there was a barracks beside the French Prison. When that barracks was cleared away, the base of a structure called the Wallace Tower was exposed to view: NS3974 : Dumbarton Rock: the Wallace Tower.

As the information panel visible just ahead mentions, most of the structures here were cleared away between the Wars.

From here, the eastern peak (the Beak) is accessed by means of the path that can be seen leading up the slope at the far left. The other peak, the White Tower Crag, is reached by means of steps on top of the Portcullis Arch.
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": Link

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NS3974, 250 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Sunday, 23 April, 2017   (more nearby)
Thursday, 18 May, 2017
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 3998 7448 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:56.1996N 4:33.8026W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 3996 7451
View Direction
South-southeast (about 157 degrees)
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Image Type (about): geograph 
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