Residents express fears for the future of famous Dumbarton landmark

Dumbuck Hill 2

The quarrying operation taking place at Dumbarton landmark Dumbuck Hill. Picture by Jim Crosthwaite

By Bill Heaney

One of Dumbarton’s great landmarks is being blown off the face of the earth – and local people are raging about it.

Newton man Jim Crosthwaite‎ has produced shocking pictures taken from nearby Dumbuie – the Camel’s Hump – which that the centre of Dumbuck has been scooped out of it.

Milton residents have complained bitterly over the years about the quarrying operations that have taken place there and they pleaded successfully with the Scottish Government that planning consent should not be renewed.

The villagers protested against the noise of regular explosions and the danger of rocks blown up in the process sliding down the hill into their properties.

Complaints about the blasting have been going on for more than quarter of a century and even then people were shocked by what they viewed as the desecration of Dumbuck which was a familiar landmark going back to Roman times. Archaeologists have found cup and ring markings going back to the fifth century in that area.

Ward David opera singerThe late David Ward, pictured left, the Dumbarton-born Wagnerian opera singer, drew media attention to what was happening when he called it: “The rape of Dumbuck.”

There are now fears amongst local people that when the quarrying ceases, Dumbuck will be sold off as a refuse coup, a landfill site.

And there have been expressions of dismay from local people at what is happening on social media.

Ann Wears looked back nostalgically: “I remember walking here many years ago with my grandfather. There used to be a lookout on top built for World War II.”

Jim Wingate said: “I stayed in High Mains and used to go up Dumbuck and remember the wee hut at the top early 60s.”

Christopher McLaren just sighed: “Oh dear.”

Greg Adams added: “[It] will not be long until it’s sold on and used as a landfill [site].”


A view of Dumbuck looking towards the River Clyde and Roman cup and ring markings in the Old Kilpatrick Hills.

Dumbuck Quarry 2

A view of Dumbuck Hill from the decks of the PS Waverley passing down the River Clyde. Pictures  by Jim Crosthwaite and Bill Heaney

One comment

  1. Hello , excuse me for intruding into your petition . Recently I have been visiting Helensburgh from Glasgow and have noticed that all the trees and barks of trees , bushes, grass , woodlands tc along the dumbuck Road are covered in black thick soot or black dust ..is this normal ?..can anyone pleaae tell me why this environment is black and unhealthy, and seems to me that it is illegal?…no animals or wildlife could possibly survive this …why is this happening.?…excuse my ignorance , however it scares me to think that in 2021 , we face this grave yard of trees in the middle of our beautiful Scotland….please reply as it is very worrying..kind regards
    Pauline Dickson

Leave a Reply