News is breaking that there has been a large fire at a house named Dunmore which was earmarked for a Church of Scotland Crossroad project to house difficult young people.

The Fire Brigade were called to the scene and were there for at least two hours. At least one neighbour tacked the flames in the £500,000 house (see picture below) using a garden hose.

So far as can be ascertained at this stage, no one was injured.

More on this story later ….


Row over Kirk children’s home escalates as CrossReach attempts to circumvent normal planning process

Kirktonhill 5

Levengrove Park, the rivers Leven and Clyde and Dumbarton Rock. Picture by Craig Jump 

Investigation by Bill Heaney




Kirktonhill is a lovely, quiet, leafy part of Dumbarton overlooking the rolling lawns and tastefully planted flower beds of Levengrove, one of the finest public parks in the UK.

It is situated on the banks of the River Clyde with magnificent views of Dumbarton Rock, the Renfrewshire Hills and a passing pageant of yachts from Sandpoint Marina.

Kirktonhill has a reputation for being the quietest part of the old shipyard town and was traditionally so peaceful that it was chosen by an enclosed order of Carmelite nuns for their secluded convent, the Monastery of the Holy Ghost.

Keil School, an old public school at the heart of the estate, was housed in a large grey stone mansion, overlooking rugby and hockey playing fields, for most of last century.

That part of the estate has finally been abandoned to builders of high quality homes.

Sadly, the main building is slowly crumbling into neglect and decrepitude now that the school’s smartly blazered and kilted pupils have left permanently and will not be returning to their alma mater.

The area has become a prime site for residential development, and a fair number of doctors, lawyers and professional men and women live there.

At least two members of the House of Lords and other politicians and media personalities have chosen to make their homes in the mansions, modern villas and bungalows.

These houses rarely come on to the property market, and some are priced at up to £1 million.

It was no surprise then that eyebrows were raised – the hackles came later – when one vacant property valued at £410,000 was purchased by CrossReach.

CrossReach is the social work arm of the Church of Scotland, which looks after young people who require round the clock supervision.

Such children would formerly have been placed in a remand home, such as nearby Belfield House at West Bridgend, which has long since closed. …..

The charred house with a gaping hole in the roof after the fire at Dunmore, Kirktonhill.

Pictures by Bill Heaney









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