West Dunbartonshire

Situated immediately north of Alexandria and 5 miles (8 km) north of Dumbarton in West Dunbartonshire, the village of Balloch lies at the south end of Loch Lomond straddling the River Leven. The Earls of Lennox built a castle here in 1238 and Balloch became a small ferry port. Following the development of the textile industry in the Vale of Leven in the early 19th century, the castle was rebuilt by the textile magnate John Stirling. Renamed Tullichewan Castle, it stood in a large park that is now Balloch Castle Country Park. Balloch flourished in association with the development of tourism. In 1816 David Napier's Marion was the first pleasure steamer to operate on Loch Lomond from Balloch and, in 1850, Balloch Pier became the terminus of a railway from Dumbarton. The last paddle-steamer, the Maid of the Loch, has been moored at Balloch Pier since 1981. Today Balloch continues as a centre for tourism, as a focal point for leisure craft, the location of the Loch Lomond Sea Life Aquarium and the Loch Lomond Shores retail complex. A boat yard lies on the site of MacArthur's Loch Lomond Radium Works, one of the first such plants in the UK which was established in 1915 to supply radium for medical purposes and luminous paint. It closed in 1928. Nearby is Balloch Castle (19th-century) and Balloch Castle Country Park.

A library was established on Carrochan Road in 1974. There are also two primary schools (Haldane and St Kessog's), a post office and a fire station. It retains a railway station in the town centre.

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