We have just recently joined Historic Scotland (similar to English Heritage in England and Cadw in Wales. Is there an equivalent in Northern Ireland?). This means we can go and visit lots of castles! We started on Monday which was the last day of the Easter holidays.
Looking at the photos I took though, you'd perhaps be excused from realising we were at a castle. This is because not much of the original castle is left, and much of what has replaced it is currently covered in scaffolding. However the location and situation were excellent - we had a good climb and excellent views. There was plenty to see and photograph, it would seem I was in texture study mode - lots of shots of different stonework, brickwork and peeling paint, in addition to the views, a hairy caterpillar and the odd flower.
So, where were we? The answer: Dumbarton Castle.
"From the 5th century AD until 1018, Dumbarton Rock was the capital of
the British kingdom of Strathclyde. Legend tells of Merlin the magician
staying at King Riderch’s court there in the 6th century. The Rock was
besieged several times, but the Viking assault in 870 was by far the
worst. After a four-month siege, Kings Olaf and Ivar of Dublin carried
off the slaves and looted treasure in 200 longships."
"Substantial new artillery fortifications were built in the 17th and
early 18th centuries. These are what the visitor sees today, for nothing
survives from the Dark-Age fortress, and precious little from the
Here is a photo of how the garrison and rocks look from across the Clyde (and without scaffolding):-
© Copyright Dave Hitchborne and
licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
There are 557 steps to climb to see all there is to see...