Ballantine’s Distillery

Ballantine’s distillery dominated the town of Dumbarton for over 60 years before being mothballed in 2002, but when Allied Distillers was taken over by Pernod Ricard in 2005, the site was earmarked for “redevelopment”. When I visited, only the main tower remained standing.

Ballantine's Distillery 8 (by Ben Cooper)

The tower has a very massive steel skeleton, with very thick concrete floors – the lower levels are like a bunker.

Ballantine's Distillery 44 (by Ben Cooper)

Higher up, it’s very open and exposed – not good if you have vertigo 😉

Ballantine's Distillery 40 (by Ben Cooper)

There’s evidence that it’s being prepared for demolition.

Ballantine's Distillery 14 (by Ben Cooper)

After negotiating the open steel walkway, there’s a good staircase to higher levels.

Ballantine's Distillery 42 (by Ben Cooper)

Top floor is about 16 storeys up.

Ballantine's Distillery 30 (by Ben Cooper)

There’s a fantastic view of Dumbarton Castle from the top.

Ballantine's Distillery 28 (by Ben Cooper)

Coming back down a different way, and more fun with heights.

Ballantine's Distillery 38 (by Ben Cooper)

The only other building left is a small electricity substation.

Ballantine's Distillery 2 (by Ben Cooper)

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