LEVENFORD HOUSE LODGE with stables and coach house, Helenslee Road, Dumbarton.
ACCESS : This approachable up to the gate and easily seen from the road, but the property is now private.
Kirktonhill Conservation Area.
Levenford House has a grand setting and this is emphasised by the approach to it. It sits raised on the edge of the hill overlooking the Leven (imagine it before the trees were this large), from where its owner could survey his business interests. Every important house needed to have its lodge, stables and coach house. While there are two entrances, this one is the more important. It takes the coach borne visitor up over a bridge to the higher level of Helenslee Road, through the main gates and past the lodge before passing down the driveway to the house.
That bridge served the quarry where the bowling green now is, but that and the steep rocky change in level increase the drama of arrival.
As with the main house, the lodge was designed by the architect J T Rochead in about 1853. The stables were added in about 1865 with some inlinking work by John Burnet and Son in 1903. While the lodge rises in two storeys with a turret, the stables block, also of two storeys, makes use of the drop in levels. This is all in the Scottish Baronial style with with crowstepped gables and dummy gun ports and built of squared, stugged and snecked rubble.
While Levenford House is now occupied and afforded maintenance, this building has been left unattended since the Council vacated the premises. A combination of decay spurred on by water ingress and vandalism including a fire, have left the premises in a dire condition. But while the roof has collapsed, most of the masonry is still secure. The stables can still be made out. This is an important part of Kirktonhill as expressed in the designation of the Kirktonhill Conservation Area and it certainly hope that some day this will be restored with a new lease of life, perhaps as holiday accommodation.
BRITISH LISTED BUILDINGS : https://britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/200361035-lodge-levenford-house-helenslee-road-dumbarton-dumbarton#.X77QqOlxdPY
BUILDINGS AT RISK REGISTER FOR SCOTLAND : https://www.buildingsatrisk.org.uk/details/914135
CANMORE : https://canmore.org.uk/site/196942/dumbarton-helenslee-road-levenford-house
WEST DUNBARTONSHIRE COUNCIL website : https://www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk/leisure-parks-events/museums-and-galleries/collections/buildings/castles-and-country-houses/castles-and-country-houses-dumbarton/levenford-house/