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Renton
Central Bar Renton - geograph.org.uk - 366692.jpg
The Main Street in Renton
Population 2,138 
OS grid reference NS3878
Civil parish
  • Cardross
Council area
Lieutenancy area
  • Dunbartonshire
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town DUMBARTON
Postcode district G82
Dialling code 01389
Police Strathclyde
Fire Strathclyde
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament
  • West Dunbartonshire
Scottish Parliament
  • Dumbarton
List of places
UK
Scotland
Coordinates: 55°58′16″N 4°35′02″W / 55.971°N 4.584°W / 55.971; -04.584

Renton (Scottish Gaelic: An Reantan; Scots: The Renton) is a village in West Dunbartonshire, in the west Central Lowlands of Scotland. In the 2001 National Census it had a population of 2,138.

Renton is particularly famous for the village's association football side. Renton was one of the 11 founder members of the Scottish Football League and winners of the 1885 and 1888 Scottish Cup, producing many famous players.

History

The Renton takes its name from Cecilia Renton (daughter-in-law of Tobias Smollett) after whom the modern sandstone, 'model' village was named in 1762. Dalquhurn Bleachworks in 1715 and Cordale Printworks in 1770 were responsible for attracting new industrial workers. At the north of the village stood the Place of Bonhill, a residence from 1642, to the South was Dalquhurn House. Two parallel north-south streets, Main Street and Back Street were first joined by Station Street, Stirling Street, Burns Street, Thimble Street, Market Street and Red Row. In late Victorian times, the village extended southwards to Leven Street, Alexander Street and John Street. Further expansion occurred in the 1930s as housing was built in the grounds of Cordale House. In the early 1960s the majority of the sandstone properties in the village were compulsory purchased by Dumbarton County Council, demolished and replaced by Dumbarton County Council with 1960s Brutalist-style concrete houses and flats; the majority of which have been replaced by proper houses, own front & back door, by the Cordale Housing Association.

It has traditionally been a stronghold of radical left-wing politics; during the 1930s it had Communist councillors, Buster Lamont, never toed the Labour Party line and independent councillors such as Jimmy McKenzie (1960/70s), and since 1999 it has been represented on West Dunbartonshire council by Jim Bollan, at present the Scottish Socialist Party's only councillor.

It lies on the main road, A82 as was, between Alexandria and Dumbarton. Renton railway station is on the line from Glasgow to Balloch. It has a footbridge across the River Leven to the Strathleven Industrial Estate (once a major source of employment), and a minor road, with a steep 33% hill, across Carman Hill to Cardross.

Robert the Bruce's manor house

Despite a report that appeared in The Observer on Sunday 22 February 2009(1) stating that the buried ruins of the manor house of Robert the Bruce had been found in the Pillanflatt area of Renton, this interpretation has yet to be confirmed. While there is strong Charter evidence to indicate the presence of a manor or hunting lodge belonging to Bruce in the area, this is more likely to have been located in the vicinity of Mains of Cardross, to the south of the Pillanflat, rather than in the area to the north of it. Stone, plaster and mortar are not generally susceptible to scientific dating techniques, and lime mortar was used from the Roman period up to the late 19th or early 20th centuries.

According to Bruce Historian Stuart Smith, a charter dating from 1362 charter states that Robert the Bruce resided between Kings Park of Cardross and the lands of Pillanflatt, bounding the lands of Dalquhurn. This would suggest a site to the south of the Pillanflat, but to the north of Castle Park, in the vicinity of what is now Mains of Cardross.

Modern Times

In recent times, Renton has seen some major social regeneration most notably, although not restricted to, housing; Much of this can be attributed to Cordale Housing Association, who have revitalised what was a severely deprived area. The committed work of community activists such as Cllr Jim Bollan and Archie Thomson MBE also contributed to the redevelopment of Renton. The community spirit of Renton really does produce remarkable characters, as the history books show. True character in the village still remains in the shape of Tom Swan's sweet shop. The Village maintains a strong character and identity. People from the village are both widely regarded and known as both Rentonians and from "The Renton".

After the great work of the local activists that helped to build and shape Modern day Renton, the local Housing association suffered a major set back after mismanagement which lead to a take over by Caledonia Housing Association, it is commonly believed that one community activist played his part in the mismanagement but currently all speculation.

Facilities

There are several recreational and consumer related facilities in Renton. Such as a new mini supermarket and healthy living centre, and of course Tom Swans Sweet Shop along with a bakery, pub, bowling green, freemasons lodge. Wylie Park (known locally as Tontine Park ) is also used most Saturdays and Sundays for football games.It is home to local youth football team Renton Craigandro.

Footnotes

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