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Castles and Historic Buildings of Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland

 Castles of Scotland - Glamis Castle

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near Bridgend, Angus, Scotland

Glamis Castle is situated beside the village of Glamis in Angus, Scotland. It is the home of the Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne, and is open to the public. The plasterwork ceilings of Glamis are noteworthy for their detail and preservation. Along with those of Muchalls Castle and Craigievar Castle, they are considered the finest in Scotland. The estate surrounding the castle covers more than 14,000 acres. The two streams run through the estate, one of them the Glamis Burn. An arboretum overlooking Glamis Burn features trees from all over the world. There is a tea room in the castle, and part of the gardens and grounds are open to the public. The venue can be hired for functions like dinners and weddings.

The castle was built in the 15th Century as an L-plan castle. The main tower was added in about 1435, and the castle was enclosed within a fortified court. The West Wing was added in the 17th century as well as a small north-east wing containing the chapel. The courtyard buildings and much of the fortifications were replaced by a baroque setting of courts, sculptures and vistas. In the mid-18th century the grounds in front of the Castle were landscaped with radiating avenues of trees. New kitchens, a Billiard Room and new service courtyards beyond the East Wing were all added in 1773. Two years later, the West Wing was demolished and remodelling of the grounds into open parklands in the style of Capability Brown began. This was achieved by pulling down the garden walls in front of the Castle and moving the De'il Gates to the boundary where they stand today. The pitched roof of the East Wing was replaced with castellations in 1797 and the reconstruction of the West Wing in a matching style was effected in about 1800. The main avenue was replanted about 1820. In 1893, the 13th Earl laid out the Dutch Garden in front of the Castle. The Italian Garden was added in 1910. Glamis Castle was the childhood home of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, best known as the Queen Mother. Her daughter, Princess Margaret, was born there.

The Arts
Macbeth is known as "Thane of Glamis" in William Shakespeare's play Macbeth. Glamis Castle is also featured in the Kelley Armstrong fantasy novel Haunted.

There is an abundance of legends associated with Glamis. The most famous is the "Monster of Glamis" abvout a hideously deformed child born to the family. In the story, the monster was kept in the castle all his life and his suite of rooms bricked up after his death. An alternate version of the legend is that to every generation of the family a vampire child is born and is walled up in that room. There is an old story that guests staying at Glamis once hung towels from the windows of every room in a bid to find the bricked-up suite of the monster. When they looked at it from outside, several windows were apparently towel-less. The legend of the monster may have been inspired by the true story of the Ogilvies. Somewhere in the sixteen-foot thick walls is the famous room of skulls, where the Ogilvie family, who sought protection from their enemies the Lindsays, were walled up to die of starvation.

Other Castles in the Area
  Ballinbreich Castle, Fife
  Broughty Castle, City of Dundee
  Claypotts Castle, City of Dundee
  Craighall Castle, Perth and Kinross
  Dalnaglar Castle, Perth and Kinross
  Dudhope Castle, City of Dundee
  Edzell Castle, Angus
  Elcho Castle, Perth and Kinross
  Evelick Castle, Perth And Kinross
  Fingask Castle, Perth and Kinross
  Kinnaird Castle, Perth and Kinross

Kinnaird Castle
Glamis Castle from near the West Tower

Photograph by M J Richardson. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Kinnaird Castle
Glamis Castle

Photograph by Stanley Howe. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Kinnaird Castle
West tower, Glamis Castle

Photograph by Dan. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

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