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Cleaner look for Dumbarton Rock

15 March 2013

Graffiti removal has taken place this week at Dumbarton Rock.

Specialist contractors were on site to clear spray-painted imagery and writing from the lower parts of the rock. This is the first phase of works that will contribute to improving the appearance of the area around the rock and visitors’ enjoyment.

Dumbarton Rock is of national importance because it has one of the longest recorded histories as a stronghold in Britain. Over the centuries, the volcanic rock has played a key role in the country’s history having acted as a natural fortress location.

This national significance is recognised through its status as an Ancient Scheduled Monument which provides legal protection. The rock and its surrounding environment is a popular location for local walkers and rock climbers, attracting thousands of visitors annually.

Prior to its removal, the graffiti detracted from the natural beauty of the area and created an unsightly feel for leisure users. This removal is part of Historic Scotland’s commitment to look after the ancient setting of the rock and contribute to a more pleasant environment for those using the area.

The work was carried out using methods that will not damage the rock and ensure its natural appearance is restored.

Throughout this project, Historic Scotland has been working in conjunction with the Mountaineering Council of Scotland and local climbing groups to ensure the delicate handholds on the rockface were unaffected by the graffiti removal process.

Joann Russell, Historic Scotland’s Head of Conservation for the South Region, said: “Dumbarton Rock is a major landmark and focal point for the local community. It also has a significant place in Scotland and Britain’s history.

“Despite its protection in law, it has not deterred graffiti defacing the rock. This has become an issue for us and, understandably, it is a concern for the local community. We are committed to protecting the rock and ensuring its natural look is restored in a sensitive manner that will not affect the rock’s fabric. This work will contribute to the improvement of the area’s appearance and make it a more enjoyable place to visit.”

Andrea Partridge, the Access Officer for the Mountaineering Council of Scotland said: “Dumbarton Rock is recognised throughout the international climbing community as having some of the hardest climbing and boulder problems and it has played a significant role in the development of climbing.  The MCofS is pleased to be working in co-operation with Historic Scotland and local climbers to improve the appearance of the area.  Through close liaison with the contractors we ensured that the climbing heritage was protected and safety for all users is improved.”

Notes for editors:

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

  • The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) acts to represent, support and promote Scottish mountaineering. MCofS is a membership organisation with 11,000 members representing hill walkers, climbers and mountaineers, funded through a combination of membership subscriptions; non-governmental grants; and investment from sportscotland, which supports public initiatives and services in mountain safety, mountain weather information services, mountain leader training and the development and promotion of mountaineering activities. MCofS is a not for profit company limited by guarantee and incorporated in Scotland. Company number SC322717

  • 2013 is the Year of Natural Scotland, inspiring our people and our visitors to celebrate Scotland’s outstanding natural beauty, landscapes and biodiversity as Scotland prepares to welcome the world in 2014 and beyond. Find out more about Scotland’s outstanding natural beauty at

Historic Scotland around the web:

                                                            Year of Natural Scotland logo linking to

For further information

John MacNeil
Media Relations Manager
Media Relations Manager
0131 668 8714 or 07854 366 827