Bowling Harbour

Location type


Name and dates

Bowling Harbour

Opened on the Lanarkshire and Dumbartonshire Railway.


This tidal harbour, today associated with old hulks lying in the mud exposed at the low tide, is the western entry to the Forth and Clyde Canal.

The western half was used by the North British Railway and London and North Eastern Railway for over-wintering of their summer only vessels.

The eastern half was owned by the Caledonian Railway. Steamers brought iron ore and limestone here, which was transhipped to lighters to continue their journey by the Forth and Clyde Canal.

This harbour, built with money from the forfeited estates of the Jacobites, has for over a hundred years been the final resting place of vessels.

Sidings served a quayside at the north east corner of the harbour, a bunkering quay. This was served from both the Glasgow, Dumbarton and Helensburgh Railway (to the north and open today) and the Lanarkshire and Dumbartonshire Railway (closed - access was from Bowling Harbour Signal Box to the east, the line running west by a small swing bridge alongside the much larger bridge extant today). Coal, and later oil, was delivered to the bunkering quay.




  /  /1867PS Meg Merrilies [I]
Meg Merrilies put up for sale by North British Steam Packet Company. After some time at Bowling Harbour is sold and sailed to Constantinople.


A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain: Scotland - The Lowlands and the Borders v. 6 (Regional railway history series)

An Illustrated History of Glasgow's Railways

The Vanished Railways of Old Western Dunbartonshire (Britains Railways/Old Photos)