Click on a letter of the alphabet for specific place names beginning with that letter:
A | B | C | D | E-F | G | H | I-J | K | L | M | N | O | P-Q | R | S | T | U-V | W |
The name of this land between Dumbarton and Renton is probably derived from Gaelic dail (= "field") and maybe an older form of muc (= "pig"). The name is spelt "Dalmowack" in Pont's late 16th century map, suggesting an extra syllable.
Dalmuir is nowadays part of the Clydebank conurbation, but its identity is much older. The name is not, as the modern spelling might suggest, anything to do with a muir, or moor. The Gaelic word mor meaning 'big', is sometimes Anglicised as 'more' or 'moir'. Occasionally 'moir' was spelled 'muir', possibly due to local Lowland Scots pronunciation. Thus 'Dalmuir' is simply dail ('field' or 'meadow') + mor. It's a big field!
Dalmuir Court in Dalmuir is obviously named after its situation.
Doveholm lands lie adjacent to Gooseholm in Dumbarton. These holm lands were grassy areas - islets sometimes, or (as in this case) lands lying at or near a river or rivulet. "Holm" is an English/Scots language word, and it is unusual when a place name has this ending, for the preceding part to be from another language group. Doveholm is no exception. The reference must be to the habitual presence of doves or pigeons there at one time. The name was sometimes spelt "Dowholm", "dow" being a Scots word for a pigeon or dove.
Doveholm is also the name of a short street that connects Bonhill Road and Townend Road in Dumbarton.
Doveholm Avenue in Dumbarton is in the housing scheme between Barloan and Roundriding Road.
Dumbarton is the second largest town in West Dunbartonshire, and the oldest. People are often puzzled about the dual spelling of Dumbarton and Dunbartonshire. After all, the county name is just the town name with the word 'shire' added on.
The name comes from the Gaelic Dun Breatann, which means 'fort of the Britons' (the Britons being Celtic tribes who had colonised the area). Notice that the -ton ending, in this case, has no etymological connection with the word 'town'. The Britons themselves called the town Alclut, or Alcluith, etc. (= 'rock on the Clyde'), and this is commemorated in the street name Alclutha Avenue.
Old charters sometimes refer to 'Dunbriton', and later such forms as 'Dunbertane', 'Dunbartane', etc. can be found. However, the spelling 'Dumbarton' has been around for over 300 years, probably because it shows how the name was said, and the County of Dumbarton used to be, simply, 'Dumbartonshire'. Thus when the Victorian local historian Joseph Irving wrote his County history, he called it A History of Dumbartonshire, and that was the standard spelling. It was also the County spelling when the new County Council was set up by Act of Parliament in 1889.
It was not until the early 20th century that some influential members of the County Council had the name changed to what they regarded as its more ancient form, Dunbarton. Ever since, confusion has reigned, albeit no longer, it is to be hoped, among those reading this article! When Dumbarton District Council (1974 - 1996) came to an end, and the new local authority areas were set up, it was decided to revert to the 'Dunbarton' spelling - West Dunbartonshire Council. The town itself, however, remains 'Dumbarton'.
This name comes, apparently, from the Gaelic dun (="fort" or "hill") and buic (="buck" or "he-goat"). It was presumably so named because of the existence then of a significant number of those animals on its slopes. The hill, which abuts on to the edge of the A82, has had its shape considerably altered over the last half-century or so by the operations of Dumbuck Quarry.
Dumbuck Crescent, in Dumbarton, was named after the former small Dumbuck estate on which it was built up, the estate, of course, taking its name from the nearby hill.
Dumbuck Road, in Dumbarton, is in two sections (divided by Roundriding Road) and runs parallel to Stirling Road. It too derives its name from the hill in which direction it leads in a south-easterly direction, and which is a prominent feature from the road.
In medieval times some of the land in the area between Bowling and Milton belonged to what was known as the Barony of Colquhoun. The castle built on the spit of land, Dunglass Point, at the western extremity of Bowling was the barony stronghold, deriving its name from the Gaelic dun (="fort") and glas (="grey"). At the time of writing, this piece of land contains the few remains of the medieval castle, the ruins of a 19th century house, a monument to the steam navigation pioneer, Henry Bell, and the remains of a twentieth century Esso petroleum terminal.
There was once also a Dunglass Farm; and now, in this age of naming some important road junctions, there is even a Dunglass Roundabout where the A814 joins the A82 near Bowling.
Duntocher was developed not far from the western extremity of the Antonine Wall built by the Romans. Gaelic-speaking people gave the settlement the name dun (="fort") tochar (="road", "causeway"), in reference to Roman remains that would have been much more visible those many hundreds of years ago than they are today.
The development of the village proper came much later, in the industrial revolution period in the 18th century, with the establishment of textile mills in the area.