Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has announced that Dumbarton Castle is reopening to the public on Saturday 18 February after being closed for essential conversation work.
The long history of Dumbarton Castle includes being a royal stronghold throughout much of the Middle Ages and the place where Mary, Queen of Scots sheltered before she fled to France.
Access restrictions were put in place at the start of last year as a safety precaution while HES, who manages the site, introduced new measures to deal with the risk associated with potentially unstable high-level masonry.
Once the castle reopens this weekend, visitors will be able to climb the White Tower Crag for stunning views over the Firth of Clyde, explore the artillery fortifications to see fine examples of early 18th-century military architecture, enter the Guardhouse and explore the Magazine. One minor access restriction will remain in place at the Spur Battery which will exclude access to the Spanish and Bower Batteries. Ground level restrictions also remain in areas around the base of the Rock which is managed as part of HES’s routine rock risk.
Dumbarton Castle is the latest site to reopen following the completion of its high-level masonry inspection. Since inspections began in May last year, HES has been able to increase access at more than 30 sites including Doune Castle Burleigh Castle, Dundonald Castle and St Andrews Castle which reopened after their surveys were carried out.
“I am very pleased to announce that Dumbarton Castle is reopening this weekend, ahead of schedule,” explains Craig Mearns, Director of Operations at HES. “Our staff have been working very hard to get the castle ready for reopening and we very much look forward to once again welcoming visitors through the gates of this iconic fortress.”
Dumbarton Castle will be open from 10am – 4pm daily except Thursdays and Fridays until 31 March. From 1 April 2023, the site will be open daily from 9:30am – 5:30pm. Click here for more details.
Last month another medieval site, St. Rule’s Tower in St Andrews, was also reopened after essential high-level masonry work was carried out. That tower dates back to the 11th century.
Top Image: Photo by Stephen McKechnie / Flickr.