HELENSLEE ROAD BRIDGE AND KIRKTON QUARRY, Helenslee Road, Kirktonhill, Dumbarton.
ACCESS : The road passes over this bridge and it is also accessed from the flight of stairs, but the underpass is barricaded.
Kirktonhill Conservation Area.
All of these impressive houses, their boundary walls and access roads need stone. While the most sought after stone for the main facades, particularly if dressed to an ashlar finish or carved would probably have come from quarries further afield, what better than a quarry right here in the vicinity. There was a quarry for this purpose where the bowling green now is. to reach it without interrupting the flow of Helenslee Road, a cutting was taken through the rock and a bridge built over it. The elegant residents of Kirktonhill and the workers of the quarry were reasonably separated.
It was probably built around the middle of the 19th century. There is an arch of bullfaced ashlar and voussoirs. Decorative cast-iron balustrading over a girder at east side presents a pleasant aspect and add to the setting of the Levenford House approach and lodge. The steps leading up from Levenford Terrace enable an easy and shorter pedestrian route.
If you look at the OS map from 1860 you will see why and how the road layout originated. Levenford House was important as was its main access road and its lodge (marked "A"). As the quarry developed there was a conflict of priority for access. The solution was to leave a ridge of hillside (marked "B"). The quarry (marked "C") seemed to need this access at this point, so the ridge and the access at this point was bridged. This compromise gave the lodge and its coach house / stables a grander approach. (It appears that the gape between the two were infilled with further structure after this time). Rather a convoluted way to appease the elegant house and the noisy quarry activities. But if you look closely you can see the origins of the subsequent road and residential development that we see today.
OS map of 1860.
CANMORE : https://canmore.org.uk/site/197282/dumbarton-helenslee-road-bridge
HISTORIC ENVIRONMENT SCOTLAND website for listed buildings : http://portal.historicenvironment.scot/designation/LB24895
NATIONAL LIBRARY OF SCOTLAND (NLS) : Map reproduced with permission.
1860 map : Archive title "Dumbartonshire, Sheet XXII (includes: Cardross; Dumbarton; Erskin... Survey date: 1860 , Publication date: 1864". https://maps.nls.uk/view/74426624