The Bruce Trail

King Robert Bruce, the river Leven and Sir David Graham Charter by King Robert the Bruce at the Parliament of Scone 5th March 1326. Sir David De Graham, (styled of Dundaff, Mugdock, Kincardine)

 

Sir David Graham, the eldest son of Sir Patrick Graham and Annabelle Countess Strathearn the kings faithful adherent, exchanged with the king the lands of Succoth and Moyden beside the river leven in the Lordship and Parish of Cardross, Dumbarton and also the islands of Inchfad, and Inchcailloch in the parish of Buchanan Loch Lomond.

 

He was in receipt from the king a charter for the lands of Montrose basin, Kynabar and Charleton in Angus, with permission to create this into a barony called Old Montrose, with obligation to provide the king with the service of an archer. Sir David Graham was earlier held hostage by the English and released after the Battle of Bannockburn. The Kt'. Templars of England were obliged to finance the upkeep of Sir David Graham during this period of captivity, to provide him with firewood and £80.00 per annum

This upkeep was to be drawn from the Temple lands of the Manor of Eykill in Yorkshire. The same Sir David Graham was released from English captivity and was responsible for escorting the royal ladies home to Dumbarton after they were released from English captivity after Bannockburn.

 

Balloch Castle and Bruce

The map on the right is Loch Lomond. The small island on the river Leven is near the site of the medieval Earl of Lennox castle at Balloch. The medieval Balloch castle moat can still be seen in the woods at the point where the river flows from the Loch. The Earl of Lennox estate of Balloch on the east side of the river Leven, marched with the Bruce estate of Kirkmichael.

 

Old map of Loch Lomond

Cameron and Bruce

Stockroger and Cameron lands were part of the parish and lordship of Luss when Bruce lived here. This estate was created into a hospital land, and attached to the Bruce estates of Mains, and the Dumbarton Common Goods.

The Three Tullichewans of Old Luss

This belonged to the Earl of Lennox and became the property of Lord MacAuly of Faslane when he married the heiress of Lennox during the reign of King David Bruce in 1353. Old Luss at this time extended north from what is now the march burn of the Vale of Leven Hospital, and ended at the head of Loch Lomond to include what is now the parishes of Row and Arrochar.

Binnermill, Middletoun and Overtoun

This belonged to the Bonhill-Lindsay family after they were brought to this district by Bruce. John Lindsay was the priest for the household of King Robert the Bruce before being elevated to the bishopric of Glasgow after the death of the blind bishop Robert Wishart. The Lindsays of Bonhill later became keepers of the Bruce hospital of Stockrogert in Luss and eventualy fell heir to the Bruce Manors of Mains and Pillanflatt before this fell to the Smollett Family.

Binnermill, Middletoun and Overtoun

This belonged to the Bonhill-Lindsay family after they were brought to this district by Bruce. John Lindsay was the priest for the household of King Robert the Bruce before being elevated to the bishopric of Glasgow after the death of the blind bishop Robert Wishart. The Lindsays of Bonhill later became keepers of the Bruce hospital of Stockrogert in Luss and eventualy fell heir to the Bruce Manors of Mains and Pillanflatt before this fell to the Smollett Family.

 

Succoth

Was the original name of the Bruce estate, which became known as the Mains of the river Leven, or the Mains in the Lordship and parish of Cardross in 1326. The Mains was also sometimes called Dalmoak, Succoth, Moyden and St Sebastian and more recently it became known as the Barony of Ardoch when Cunningham Graham purchsed all the old parcels of land formerly belonging to King Robert the Bruce.

Dalquhurn, Pillanflatt, Mains and Dalreoch

This was the private estate of Bruce. A substantial part of this land is now the village of Renton, where the Strathleven artizans project is based. Tontine public park of Renton was the Bruce garrison of St Sebastian.

Kirkmichael

Is more difficult to find on this map, at the point of land on the east side of the river Leven just above the town of Dumbarton. This is a very important Bruce estate held by Malcolm Fleming who the hereditary master of the royal household, and foster father of David Bruce. This is the site of the Ancient Strathleven Oak Tree and the medieval church of Kirkmichael which was created after the Earl of Lennox returned from a crusade. Another old church called St Molug was created by Bruce and this site is now known as Kilmalid Distillery.

Castlehill, Hawthornhill and the Clerkhill

These were parts of the Bruce royal estate of Mains. Officers of his court used these lands and these were attached to the parish Church of St Serf's on the river Leven.

 

Cardross Kirk and little Kirkton

Shown at the bottom middle of the map, opposite Dumbarton town and Castle was in medieval times called St Serfs at the Leven and is known as the Leven Grove Public Park. It is not well known that part of King Robert the Bruce's body was buried in this church. His sternum and intestines were buried here after his heart was removed at the royal Manor of Mains. Bishop John Lindsay officiated at this service as the Kirk of St Serf was a special priebend of Glasgow including the memorial alms to Bruce and Bannockburn collected from the Bruce lands of Mains.

Dumbarton Town and the Castle of Dumbarton

Is obvious, the old toun of the Royal Burgh of Dumbarton was almost an island in medieval times. The castle belonged to Bruce, but he prefered only to live there in times of emergency. It is not well known that the Port of Murroch was also part of the Bruce estate and this was where the Western fleet of Admiral MacDonald of Islay moored his ships during the batle of Bannockburn and in preparation for the Edward Bruce invasion of Ireland.

Guide to walking & cycling the Robert the Bruce trail in West Dunbartonshire

Click to view full leaflet


Full Bruce trail leaflet