Cardross (Scottish Gaelic: Càrdainn Ros) is a large village with a population of 2,194 (2011) in Scotland, on the north side of the Firth of Clyde, situated halfway between Dumbarton and Helensburgh. Cardross is in the historic geographical county of Dunbartonshire but the modern political local authority of Argyll and Bute.
Geilston House, by Cardross, owned by the National Trust for Scotland
|Population||2,110 (mid-2016 est.)|
|OS grid reference|
|• Edinburgh||57 mi (92 km)|
|• London||359 mi (578 km)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Cardross Village took its name from the historic parish in which it is located and where King Robert the Bruce lived the final years of his life. The Parish of Cardross stretched in area from the River Leven on the west side of Dumbarton to Camus Eskan (near Helensburgh), and stretched as far north to include the village of Renton in the Vale of Leven.
The distinction between Cardross village and Cardross Parish is particularly important for students of Scottish history. King Robert the Bruce's documented association with ’Cardross’ occurred three centuries prior to the existence of the modern-day village, and at a time when the name referred to the ecclesiastical parish and its church, Cardross Kirk.
The original piece of land known as ’Cardross’ is at the eastern edge of the historic parish and the western point of the confluence of the River Clyde and River Leven at the town of Dumbarton, facing across to Dumbarton Rock and Castle. Today the land is known as “sand point” and sits on the edge of Dumbarton's Levengrove Park. The site of medieval Cardross Kirk, and its remains, sits within Levengrove Park.
Cardross is a name of Brittonic origin. The first part of the name is the Brittonic or Pictish *carden, generally meaning "a wild place, a thicket" (Middle Welsh cardden). The second is the element -rōs, "moor, promontory" (Welsh rhos). In other words, a thicketed promontory of land.
The settlement of Cardross developed around a 17th-century church. The mother kirk of Cardross Parish was relocated in 1653, 3 miles (5 km) west from its medieval site on the western bank of the River Leven to support a fledgling ferry community on the northern bank of the River Clyde.
Modern-day ‘Ferry Road’ runs the short distance between the A814 and the River Clyde at the easternmost extremity of Cardross Village (closest to Dumbarton).
The new settlement eventually took its name from the church, and the parish that it served, as the 17th-century worshippers headed for the re-located ‘Cardross’ every Sunday.
Today no remains of that original Cardross Village church can be found but the Graveyard is still in use and contains several 17th-century gravestones.
Robert the Bruce purchased the portions of lands of Pillanflatt from the Earl of Lennox, lying on the western bank of the River Leven, Dunbartonshire, in the Parish of Cardross, in 1326. In 1329, he died at the manorial house that he built there.
A field on the bank of River Leven south of the village of Renton, West Dunbartonshire, called the Mains of Cardross, is thought to have been the location of his royal manor, none of which remains today. In 2017, Dumbarton Football Club's proposed new stadium was refused planning permission, with one of the objections being its likely placement on the medieval Bruce site.
2 km (1.2 mi) north-west of Cardross is a peninsula called Ardmore Point. This privately owned area of land has a nature trail and is considered a Regionally Important Geographical Site (RIGS) due to unique rock formations including an exposed sea cliff. It is a popular fishing and bird-spotting area inhabited by grey seals.
There are a number of businesses, including a sawmill, car mechanic, a Co-operative Food Store, newsagents, pharmacy, post office, plumber's merchant, an Indian style take-away, a couple of hairdressers, soap shop and a jewellers.
Ardardan Estate is a working farm with a farm shop, plant nursery and tea room and is situated outside Cardross near Ardmore Point, but closer to the town of Helensburgh.
A bus service is provided by First Glasgow.
Cardross is the site of one of the most important modernist buildings in the world. St Peters seminary. Built in the early 1960's.
There is also a ruined church, which was bombed in May 1942 during World War 2. The reason for Cardross being targeted by German bombers remains unclear, locals have speculated buildings in the village might have been mistaken as a shipyard or an oil storage facility.
The village has two places of worship: Cardross Parish Church (Church of Scotland) and a Roman Catholic Church dedicated to Saint Mahew. The original parish church was bombed during the Second World War and its ruins are located next to the former Church of Scotland manse.
There are nearly fifty listed buildings/structures in Cardross, two of which are category A.
Some structures of note:
- The 14th century St. Mahew's Chapel. Most recently restored in the 1950s as a Catholic church which remains in use.
- The former St. Peter's Seminary, designed by Gillespie, Kidd & Coia, is situated to the north of the village; it is closed to the public. Abandoned in the late 1980s, it is in a state of dilapidation, particularly internally. In early 2015 the site was handed over to the NVA with the intention that part of it will become an arts venue, however those plans failed due to a lack of funding.
- The ruined 15th-century Kilmahew Castle that was built by the Napier Clan is situated just north of the village.
- The main road through the village goes over Moore's Bridge (1688) which carries the road over Kilmahew Burn.
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- Cardross Golf Club Web Site
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- List of listed buildings in Cardross, Argyll and Bute
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- "Ardardan Estate: Welcome to Ardardan". Retrieved 31 December 2010.
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- "Hermitage Academy web page". Archived from the original on 2007-10-10.
- "Cardross Golf Club". Archived from the original on 2008-05-11.
- "Historic Scotland's Statement of Significance for St. Peter's" (PDF). Retrieved 31 December 2010.
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