West Dunbartonshire Doors Open Day programme in 2019

West Dunbartonshire's Doors Open Day programme is delivered as a bi-annual programme with the next full programme scheduled for September 2020. However with DOD celebrating its anniversary in Scotland this year several venues will be opening their doors to visitors. These stretch from Loch Lomond to Dumbarton. 

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.

Our Doors Open Days is 14th September.


West Dunbartonshire

St Augustine's Episcopal Church

14 September 2019

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

Strathleven House

14 September 2019

Strathleven House within the Vale of Leven Industrial Estate. How to get there : Stirling Road from Dumbarton or Balloch turning at the roundabout near Chivas Brothers into Levenside Road. G82 3PD 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.

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