Dame Jackie Baillie along with Dumbarton Castle Monument Manager Kirsty Haslam; Historic Environment Scotland’s District Visitor and Community Manager, Laura Millar, and Stuart Holmes, Historic Environment Scotland’s Regional Visitor and Community Manager for the South Region.

By Bill Heaney

Dame Jackie Baillie has paid a visit to Dumbarton Castle as ongoing maintenance work continues across the castle and sections remain closed.

The Dumbarton constituency MSP toured the open area of the castle and spoke with staff about the ongoing work as well as learning more about the rich history of the castle.

Dumbarton Castle was closed during the coronavirus pandemic and, although it reopened briefly, in January 2022, Historic Environment Scotland confirmed that it would remain closed due to potentially unstable high-level masonry.

It reopened earlier this year except for a small part of the site, but further works are now taking place which have seen a large area closed to the public.

While the maintenance work is being undertaken, visitors are able to visit free of charge.

Historic Environment Scotland has also advised that some of the collection, which had been removed from Dumbarton Castle to Stirling and to Edinburgh, will now be returned.

Dame Jackie, pictured right, said: “It was a pleasure to visit Dumbarton Castle as always. It is the jewel in our crown and the views which you get from the castle are second to none.

“I thank the staff for welcoming me, showing me around and discussing the challenges which are facing the site at the moment.

“It is disappointing that the site is not fully open however I was pleased to see maintenance staff at the castle during my visit to try and prepare it for a complete reopening.

“I hope that this can be done quickly to ensure the town does not miss out on the full tourist season.

“I hope this doesn’t put people off coming back to the site and I would also urge local people to take advantage of the current offer of free entry as there is still plenty to see and enjoy.”

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