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Dumbarton


West Dunbartonshire

Former capital of the ancient kingdom of Strathclyde, Dumbarton lies at the mouth of the River Leven which flows south from Loch Lomond to enter the Firth of Clyde 16 miles (26 km) northwest of Glasgow. A prominent landmark on the north side of the Clyde is Dumbarton Rock, an isolated 73-m high (240 feet) volcanic plug that was first fortified in the 5th century AD. Created a royal burgh in 1222, Dumbarton developed in association with its royal castle which became the centre of the Earldom of Lennox in the 16th century. In the 17th century its port flourished with the sugar, indigo and tobacco trade and in 1765 the River Leven was finally bridged as the last link in the network of military road building. In the 19th century Dumbarton prospered as a centre for shipbuilding, the first pleasure steamers on Loch Lomond being built here. In 1869 the famous clipper Cutty Sark was constructed by Scott & Linton and completed by William Denny & Bros., builders of the first ocean-going merchant vessel with a steel hull. Dennys also produced the Sunderland flying boat between 1939 and 1945 and, in 1963, a hovercraft for service on the Thames. Other industries associated with the burgh have included iron founding, boilermaking, whisky distilling and the manufacture of glass.


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