Glamis Castle

A castle on the outskirts of the village of Glamis in Angus, the home of the Earls of Strathmore. Glamis was a Royal hunting lodge from as early as the 11th C., when King Malcolm II (c.954 - 1018) is thought to have been murdered there. In the 15th Century an L-plan castle was built on lands that had earlier been given to Sir John Lyon by his father-in-law King Robert II (1316-90). Lyon's son, who became Lord Glamis in 1445, probably built the tower house. Lady Janet, the widow of the 6th Lord Glamis was a Douglas at a time when King James V (1512-42) was persecuting that family. She was imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle and burned as a witch on Castlehill (1537), while James confiscated Glamis and its contents. Her ghost is said to haunt the Chapel at the castle.

However, it was not long before the family fortunes rose once again and John Lyon, the 8th Earl of Glamis (c.1544-77), was entertaining Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-87) at Glamis Castle. His descendants were created Lords of Kinghorne in 1606 and of Strathmore in 1677. Problems struck once again when the family lost much of their wealth by supporting the Covenanting army against King Charles I (1600-49) and James Graham, 1st Marquis of Montrose (1612-50). However, their fortunes improved, and John, the 9th Earl (1737-76), became a Bowes Lyon on marrying Mary Bowes (1749 - 1800), a Yorkshire heiress.

The castle was extended from the 16th century and the policies were landscaped by Capability Brown in the 18th C. Glamis was the family home of Queen Elizabeth (1900 - 2002), and the birthplace of Princess Margaret (1930 - 2002). As Princess Elizabeth, the young Queen Elizabeth II (1926 - 2022) visited regularly in the summer months, while other visitors have included the young Sir Walter Scott (1771 - 1832), who was impressed by the splendour. The wives of several world leaders visited Glamis on a day-trip while the G8 Summit took place at Gleneagles in 2005, those attending included Cherie Blair, Laura Bush, Lyudmila Putina and Doris Schröder-Köpf.

Today, Glamis is Category-A listed owing to its historical importance and its gardens identified as nationally-significant. Visitors can see the 'Great Hall', which is now a Drawing Room, with its barrel-vaulted ceiling and magnificently-carved over-mantel, an 18th Century Billiards Room and the remarkable 17th Century family chapel, its walls illustrated by biblical portraits by Dutch artist Jacob de Wet.

Between 1987 and 2017, Glamis Castle has featured on the rear of Royal Bank of Scotland £10 notes, the last paper banknote issued by that bank.

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