Glencairn House, Dumbarton

This is the oldest building in Dumbarton, it dates back to 1623 and it is situated in the High Street next door to what used to be the good old Woolworths store, now sadly missed.

Most of the time I lived in Dumbarton, Glencairn House was empty and neglected. Believe it or not it has had a bit of a facelift in recent years and at least now it is being used. It seems to be home to a credit union nowadays. The credit union is a great idea but I’m sure they could have found somewhere else for it to be housed. I wish somebody would deal with that buddleia before it does serious damage to the building.

Glencairn House would be the perfect location for a tourist information centre/museum, which as far as I can see, they don’t have in Dumbarton. It has links with Robert Burns as he was made a freeman of the town in the building.

Tobias Smollett and A.J. Cronin also have links with the town and Coleridge and the Wordsworths visited the town and castle too.

A.J. Cronin did the research for his book Hatter’s Castle at the local library, sadly years before I was working there. Like many of his books it was made into a film in the 1950s.

Considering all the history involved with having such an important landmark as the castle/rock, the links with Mary, Queen of Scots and even Merlin, the town council has done absolutely nothing to bring visitors into the town and exploit the treasure which they have on their doorstep.

4 thoughts on “Glencairn House, Dumbarton

  1. Oh! How I loved The Citadel by A.J. Cronin. I read it at the age of 14 and was mesmerized. I also read The Green Years at the same age–wasn’t that a Cronin novel?

    By the way, I actually managed to post an entry on my blog today!

    Judith (Reader in the Wilderness)

    • Yes, he wrote The Green Years too, in fact he wrote a lot and much of it was made into films or TV series like Dr Findlay’s Casebook. The film of The Spanish Gardener starring Dirk Bogarde is good.

      We just got back from a few days away in the north of England where we couldn’t get on the internet!

  2. Wow what a beautiful building + dumbarton landmark – a museum of information + history would be an excellent idea – considering how old the area is (bowling dton cardross helensburgh + even balloch) theres little information for visitors – dumbarton is a beautiful town with huge potential – I commend the writer of this article + hope u continue to speak up x

    • Honor houston,
      The surrounding countryside is lovely but it’s such a shame that the towns are now so run down, due mainly to the local council allowing out of town shopping centres to be built, meaning the high street shops have closed down. Of course Dumbarton has always suffered from being too close to Glasgow, which is where most people spend their money – if they have any. Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment.


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