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West Dunbartonshire

West Dunbartonshire's Doors Open Day programme is delivered as a bi-annual programme.  2018 will see a full programme of venues and events stretching from Loch Lomond to Bowling and with several venues in Dumbarton itself.

The epicentre of our Doors Open Day programme is Dumbarton, the ancient capital of Alt Clut, better known as Strathclyde. Alt Clut, a Brittonic term for Dumbarton Castle became known in Scottish Gaelic as Dùn Breatann, the Fort of the Britons, and we begin to see the origins of the current name.

The Dumbarton Rock with its castle sits above the confluence of the mighty River Clyde and the River Leven which flows down from Loch Lomond. The town of Dumbarton still reflects its connection to the Rock and the two rivers and its High Street widens where there was once a street market.

Several of our Doors Open Day venues are within easy walking distance of the town centre.

This year Doors Open Day in West Dunbartonshire comes to you through the efforts of the Lennox Heritage Society.


 

West Dunbartonshire

Bowling Basin and the Bowling Harbour Project

Date 1: 01/09/2018
Date 2: 01/01/0001
Tags:

new

1 September 2018

This is the western most end of the Forth and Clyde Canal. Besides the boats and lockgates, there is the old rail bridge above and the arches below. The specific focus this Doors Open Day is the Bowling Harbour Project. The arches now house a variety of commercial units. Those on the canal section have such things as cycle hire. Those overlooking the Basin have arts and crafts. The Bowling Harbour Project will be arranging stalls and activities. That includes a guided look at the basin and canal, its history and features that many visitors usually miss. Even a canoe trip on the canal.

West Dunbartonshire

Dumbarton Central Station & The Armed Forces Veterans Association

Date 1: 01/09/2018
Date 2: 01/01/0001
Tags:

new

1 September 2018

The station is a category A listed building, a great example of Scottish industrial heritage. The railway originally opened 1854, but was altered and widened to the south in about 1896. The present structures are mostly from 1896 although electrification had an impact on the canopies. But for this Doors Open Day we are drawing attention to the Armed Forces Veterans Association which can be found on Platform Two. This is a small but fascinating centre for the veterans of our armed services. You are invited to pop in to see what they do and perhaps exchange stories. Those manning it are keen to chat about the association and children may find the models of interest. There is a small cafe on Platform One.

West Dunbartonshire

St Augustine's Episcopal Church

Date 1: 01/09/2018
Date 2: 01/01/0001
Tags:

1 September 2018

Dumbarton. How to get there : High Street, corner Church Street.Dedicated to St Augustine of Hippo. 1871-73. Architect : Sir Robert Rowand Anderson. A beautiful interior with some great stained glass.Built in 1873 to the designs of architect Sir Robert Rowand Anderson in the Gothic Revival Style. The interior is said to be among Anderson's finest. Stained glass at baptismal font is by Stephen Adam with others to designs by Carl Alnquist. The organ was designed and built for the church by Smith and Brock. Some woodcarvings such as the angels on the pews are worth a look. Total restoration of building in 2003. A parsonage and hall by A. C. Denny are now demolished, but a modern timber clad building was added.Scotland's great Art Nouveau architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh married Margaret Macdonald here in 1900.

West Dunbartonshire

St Patrick' Roman Catholic Church

Date 1: 01/09/2018
Date 2: 01/01/0001
Tags: Weekend 2 (8-9 September)

1 September 2018

Dumbarton. How to get there : Strathleven Place opposite Dumbarton Central Library (near the main roundabout). Parking is available nearby.A magnificent aisled 8 bay Gothic style building with a lower chancel and many beautiful and interesting features. Sanctuary 1935. Tower 1926-27 by architects Pugin & Pugin. The belfry has a large tenor bell and a carillon of 23 bells. There is an interesting practice carillon too - a keyboard which operates the bells. Excellent stained glass. A statue of St Michael by Eric Gill. White marble pieta in memorial chapel.Mass had been celebrated in the Dumbarton area from the 1800s. By 1830 there were 500 Catholics and seeing the need for a church, St Patrick opened its doors; being the first post-Reformation Catholic church in the area. The foundation stone of the new church was laid in 1901 with the formal opening on the 22 March 1903. The foundation stone of the tower was laid on 27June 1926 by the Archbishop Mackintosh. The new marble side altars, the pulpit the altar rails, the organ, the mortuary chapel, the tower and its carillon of 23 bells had all been completed by the end of 1927 and with the erection of the Pieta on the marble altar in the basement of the tower the two years' work was brought to a successful termination.More can be found here : http://www.stpatricksdumbarton.org.uk/history.htmlDunn and Hansom of Newcastle, architects. Built 1900-3.

West Dunbartonshire

Strathleven House

Date 1: 01/09/2018
Date 2: 01/01/0001
Tags:

1 September 2018

Strathleven House within the Strathleven Industrial Estate.How to get there : Stirling Road from Dumbarton or Balloch turning at the roundabout near Chivas Brothers.Strathleven House is modern serviced office and business centre in a stunning historic Palladian mansion.The Strathleven estate, originally known as Kirkmichael, was owned in the 14th century by the Fleming family. It passed to the Semples of Fulwood in the 17th century. In 1677 it was bought by the royalist William Cochrane, 1st Earl of Dundonald (1605 - 1685). A tower house may have existed on the estate at this time, but in 1700 his grandson, William, built the present house which he named Levenside. His initials and coat of arms are inscribed on the stonework of the building. The architect is unrecorded. It has been suggested that William Adam, Sir William Bruce, or Alexander McGill may have been responsible. However, on stylistic grounds James Smith is considered the most likely designer. He was the most significant Scottish architect of his time and the person generally credited with introducing Palladianism into Scotland. The design of here has been compared to his houses at Newhailes near Edinburgh and Raith House in Kirkcaldy. The dovecote which stands nearby is considered to be contemporary with the house. [Wiki].It is A-Listed and considered to be the earliest surviving example of the classic Palladian country house in Scotland.There is reputed to be a lost tunnel below it and linking with the River Leven.But that is not the only surprise. You may just find historical characters around. Or crafts. And there will be someone on hand to tell you the history of the building.

West Dunbartonshire

Walk : The River Leven Walk

Date 1: 01/09/2018
Date 2: 01/01/0001
Tags:

1 September 2018

A GUIDED WALK with David Harvie. Saturday the 1st at 2:00pm.Meet at Dumbarton Bridge (Bridgend side). There is a carpark off Woodyard Road. We finish in Balloch with return by rail if required. Drop-out points are available in Renton and Alexandria where there are stations. It is possible to leave the walk at the points noted if required. You may enjoy some refreshments in Balloch before finding your own way home. Duration 2.5 hrsThe River Leven. This trail covers a wide range of history of Dumbarton and the Vale of Leven. Bridges, glass production, textile industries such as Turkey Red, Robert the Bruce's retirement home and other surprises. Local historian, David Harvie, is an authority on the textile industries that once spread right through the Vale and had world-wide significance. You will explore the remnants of what was to become commonly known as the Turkey Red, the strange and often dangerous methods, the world-wide markets and the great social changes that occurred in spite or perhaps because of it. But along the way you will find many other historic features and their stories of interest. This trail covers that in the River Leven Heritage Trail brochure available from local libraries or online athttp://www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk/media/2619077/vale_of_leven.pdf. Led by David Harvie

West Dunbartonshire

West Dunbartonshire Council Offices

Date 1: 01/09/2018
Date 2: 01/01/0001
Tags:

new

1 September 2018

Note : Guided tours on Saturday morning, September the 1st. See below. An impressive facade by William Leiper looks onto Church Street. Known locally as either the Burgh Halls or Academy Building, it had lain derelict for years. But this year restoration and refurbishment was completed and it began a new life as the frontage for modern offices for the council. Access during working hours from Monday to Friday is limited to the foyer, although from there you can view the large atrium and an exhibition put on by the architects responsible for its extension. Guided tours are being arranged for Saturday the 1st September. Morning only. First come, first served. The staff reserve the right to limit group size. Meet at the entrance : 10:30 or 11:00.

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