NS4075 : Silverton Avenue

taken 4 years ago, near to Bellsmyre, West Dunbartonshire, Great Britain

Silverton Avenue
Silverton Avenue
The nearest house on the left has an inscription in a roundel beside one of its upper windows; that roundel (shown in close-up in NS4075 : Dumbarton Building Society stone in Silverton Avenue) can be seen in the picture, and its inscription reads as follows:


Dumbarton Building Society had acquired 3 acres here from Dr Douglas White (for whom, see NS4076 : The White Memorial / NS4075 : East End Park - the southern entrance / NS4175 : Crosslet House) in order to build the houses shown on the right, that is, on the eastern side of the street; they are of red sandstone construction. The memorial stone of this scheme was laid on Sat 31st Jan 1914 by Dr White.

To protect the land from flooding, a concrete wall was built on the south side of nearby Gruggies Burn (see NS4075 : Gruggies Burn near Silverton Avenue, taken at the far end of this Avenue); the wall extended from the bed of the burn to one foot above road level. The cost for building the protective wall was borne by the North British Railway Company, Dr White, and the building society.

In fact, when the houses on the right were built, there was large grassy expanse in front of them (as well as the road to Silvertonhill Farm; as mentioned below, that road corresponds to the line of present-day Silverton Avenue).

The houses on the left employ red sandstone on their front only, and, as indicated by the text in the roundel, quoted above, their construction began in 1923; those houses were completed and occupied by the early part of 1925.

Compare the above inscription with NS4075 : Dumbarton Building Society plaque, which can be seen 265 metres to the west, at the corner of Bruce Street and Glasgow Road. That building was called Grange Place, and it was, as the presence of that inscription implies, the work of the same building society; the building itself is shown in NS4075 : Grange Place, Glasgow Road, Dumbarton.

A part is missing below the inscription: it originally said "Erected 1906". It therefore pre-dates both sides of Silverton Avenue. The name Grange Place, which is no longer employed for that building, perhaps appeared above the inscription.

Further information about these building projects (and the Society's others) can be found in the "Jubilee Souvenir of Dumbarton Building Society Ltd 18731923: Fifty Years' History" (James Lyon, 1923).

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Silverton is the name of a part of Dumbarton East that grew up around the farmhouse of Silvertonhill.

The farm is recorded as "Silvertownhill" on Roy's Military Survey of Scotland (1740s50s), as "Silartonhill" on a 1777 map by Charles Ross, and as "Silverton Hill Farm" in 1832.

The farm buildings survive in a modified form at NS40847523, a little beyond the far end of this avenue. The L-shaped building there retains some elements of the layout shown on the second-edition map (1896/97); at that time, the buildings formed three sides of a square (N/W/S), but the northern part has since been replaced by a more modern detached structure (Hartfield Cottage), leaving the western and southern parts that form the L-shape.

The building stands beside a short lane, Silvertonhill Lane. Though now in the midst of housing, it still has, I think, something of the look of a farmhouse about it.

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The line of Silverton Avenue is interesting in the following respect: if you were to leave Glasgow Road to follow Silverton Avenue, then, at the end of that street, cross the little footbridge over Gruggies Burn (see NS4075 : Gruggies Burn near Silverton Avenue, taken from that bridge), and, finally, continue in almost the same direction along the short Silvertonhill Lane, you would be following the course of a road that is marked on the first-edition map (surveyed in 1860).

That road led from the main road (present-day Glasgow Road) to Silvertonhill Farm. Even by 1860, when the first-edition OS map was surveyed, the line of that road had been interrupted by a railway line, running NWSE, just north of Gruggies Burn. That railway line is long gone, but its former course survives as a present-day footpath, which is also a cycle path.
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Grid Square
NS4075, 169 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Saturday, 2 December, 2017   (more nearby)
Thursday, 14 December, 2017
Geographical Context
City, Town centre 
Primary Subject of Photo
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4078 7505 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:56.5225N 4:33.0552W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4076 7500
View Direction
North-northeast (about 22 degrees)
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