THE planned reopening of Dumbarton Castle in the spring has been welcomed by the town’s MP.

Martin Docherty-Hughes, MP for West Dunbartonshire, spoke out after the Reporter told recently how the historic site is due to open to the public once more.

Access restrictions have been in place at the castle grounds at Dumbarton Rock since early 2022, to allow for high level masonry inspections and repairs to be completed. 

Historic Environment Scotland (HES), the public body responsible for managing the site, has said it hopes to welcome visitors back to the 800-year-old stronghold by March 2023. 

Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said: “It’s good news that Dumbarton Castle is finally set to reopen to visitors after its temporary closure. 

“Dumbarton Castle is one of Scotland’s most important historical landmarks. It has great potential for the area and I’ve been in discussions with officials for some time about efforts to improve the on-site visitor experience. 

“I was pleased to welcome Scotland’s culture minister to Dumbarton Castle last year. We had a productive meeting alongside Historic Environment Scotland about the important ongoing conservation works. 

“The castle’s reopening in Spring is something to look forward to. I intend to visit again soon and will continue working to ensure this iconic site receives the investment it deserves.” 

HES' High Level Masonry programme assesses the impact on sites, as well as the deterioration caused by a number of other factors. These include the materials used in the building’s construction, as well as its age and physical location.

Tactile inspections have been completed at 25 sites across Scotland since May 2022, and a further 13 are due for completion by this spring.

Depending on the scope of the task and the different characteristics of the building, work at the sites can take over a month.

The castle’s inspection took 20 days and was completed in late 2022.