Glamis Castle

glamiscastle-01

Castle Glamis Connection …

Information Sources:
www.castles.org,
www.hauntedcastlesandhotels.com
www..glamis-castle.co.uk

According to the earliest records Glamis Castle was originally a hunting lodge owned by the Scottish Crown. Even before the castle was built, this ancient land was the scene of many historical events that have been traced back as far as the Picts’ habitation. It was here that St Fergus began his work of converting the wild, lawless heathens to Christianity, and later the Kings of Scots chose this lush forest as a favoured hunting ground. In 1034 King Malcom II died from battle wounds in the early Glamis Castle, and Macbeth also came to grief, as William Shakespeare’s famous dramatisation reveals. The first recorded granting of the thaneage of Glamis dates from 1264.

The Lyons came into possession of Glamis in 1372, when Robert the II granted the thaneage of Glamis to Sir John Lyon of Forteviot, as a reward for his services rendered to the crown. A royal hunting lodge pre-existed on the site already and was very different from the castle we see today. In 1376, Sir John married Joanna the king’s daughter. Shortly after he was appointed Chamberlain of Scotland,
the most important office to the crown.

After his father was murdered, the second Sir John Lyon inherited Glamis, married the great granddaughter of Robert II, and began building the present castle. His son became the first Lord Glamis, and in 1606 the 9th Lord Glamis was created Earl of Kinghorne. Perhaps the toughest time was had by the 3rd Earl, who inherited huge debts, but was determined that his ancestral estate would be restored both decoratively and financially. Through his solid resolve, not only was the castle greatly improved, in some areas completely rebuilt, but he also gained a new charter of peerage and has since been known as Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne.

Sir John Lyon, the 2nd Earl, started construction of the main building after 1400. This is the east wing of the present day castle. Sir John’s decedents have lived at Glamis throughout the centuries, and it remains home to the Lyon family today.
Glamis is most famous today as the childhood home to Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, mother of Queen Elizabeth II, and is the birth place of Princess Margaret (1930) who is the first royal baby born in Scotland in over 300 years.

Glamis castle is a splendid example of the `Scottish baronial’ style, an amalgam of the traditional Scottish tower house and the French Renaissance chateau, and is an example of the largely illusionary idea of a Gothic castle represented in French miniatures of the fifteenth century, a filigree of spires and turrets.

Possibly best known today as the childhood home of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. It is reputed to be one of the most haunted castles in Scotland being occupied by the ghosts of Lindsay 4th Earl of Crawford, Janet Douglas (who was burned at the stake by James V), a small black boy (who may be seen on a stone seat in the hall), and a whole party of Ogilvies who were starved to death in one room.

The core of the castle dates back to a 14th century tower. This, in common with many castles, was developed into an L-plan in the 16th century. The alterations included increasing the height of the tower, replacing the battlements with bartisans and windows, and adding a large round stair tower in the re-entrant angle which today forms the main entrance. It is known to have been extended further in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. These developments added the lower wings and the round towers.

The castle had been in the hands of the Lyon family since 1372. The family took the name Bowes Lyon on the marriage of the 9th Earl to Mary Eleanor Bowes. It is the home of the Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne.

Castle Highlights

The Lyon family began to rebuild the Castle in about 1400. There are two wings and a central L-shaped tower which links the two. The East Wing, which lies to the right of the front entrance, dates from about 1400, the L-shaped tower from 1440, and the West or Dining Room Wing from the late 17th century. Here are just some of the highlights.

The Dining Room was remodelled in 1851-53 and is a fine example of a Victorian dining room. Almost everything in the room, including the wall panelling, ceiling, fireplace and overmantle, much of the furniture and even the under floor heating, dates from that period. Around the room hang the more recent family portraits. (A photograph of this room can be seen on our Dinner Parties page.)

The room adjoining the Dining Room is the Crypt. This room was the Lower Hall where, in the 15th century, the servants would eat and sleep. An interesting feature is the 15th century staircase, which leads to the Castle well and kitchens. The Crypt houses many objects of interest including trophies of arms and armour and even a saddle, a relic of Cromwell’s occupation. The secret chamber, about which many legends are woven, is thought to be located in the thickness of the Crypt walls. It is said that one of the Lords of Glamis and the Earl of Crawford played cards with the Devil on the Sabbath and were sealed up within the chamber as punishment for their sin.

The Great Hall dates largely from the 17th century, when the Lyon family, by then Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne, remodelled the Castle to create a larger and more comfortable family home. In about 1600 they built the spiral staircase, which allowed them to add three storeys to the top of the castle. At the same time the family began to decorate the rooms. The ceiling in the Great Hall, made by local craftsmen, is dated 1621. The extraordinary painting at the end of the room is by the Dutch artist, Jacob de Wet, and shows the 3rd Earl clad in a curious flesh coloured armour pointing towards the Castle, which he had completed and which remains much today as it was then.

The family Chapel adjoins the Great Hall. It was completed in 1688 and continues to be used regularly by the Strathmore family.

Services are conducted according to the rites of the Scottish Episcopal Church. The paintings are by Jacob de Wet and include fifteen main panels on the ceiling, all scenes from the life of Christ, and, around the walls, the twelve Apostles.

The stair by the altar rail leads to the Billiard Room which was built in 1773 as a library. In this room are concentrated many of the portraits of the Bowes family. In 1767, John Lyon, 9th Earl of Strathmore, married the richest heiress in Europe. She was Mary Eleanor Bowes from County Durham. She was the last surviving member of this ancient family and her father insisted that John Lyon change his surname to preserve the Bowes family name.

Off the Great Hall, through King Malcolm’s Room with its collection of armorial china, are the Royal Apartments. These three rooms were set aside by the Countess of Strathmore for the use of the Duke and Duchess of York, who spent the second half of their honeymoon at Glamis and used the rooms regularly until the Coronation in 1937. The first room is known as the Queen Mother’s Sitting Room. Next door is the Queen Mother’s Bedroom. The four poster bed was embroidered by the Queen Mother’s mother and the upper valance is embroidered with the names of her ten children.

We return to the Crypt through Duncan’s Hall. This was used as a guardroom in the 17th century. It has been known by this name since Victorian days as it was thought to be the legendary setting for the murder of Duncan by Macbeth in Shakespeare’s famous Scottish play.

Throughout the Castle the visitor will discover many interesting and historic artworks, from early portraits of Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I to modern portraits of the 20th century Earls, as well as paintings such as The Fruit Market which is attributed to the great Flemish artist, Frans Snyders. There are also some fine tapestries.

Glamis and the Bowes Lyon Family

As far back as the 8th century, Glamis was a holy place with links to St. Fergus, who is said to have lived and died there. Later, Glamis was a hunting lodge of the Scottish kings. When King Malcolm II was mortally wounded in battle on Hunter’s Hill near Glamis in 1034, he was brought to the Castle where he died. His grandson, King Duncan I, was slain not in Glamis, as legend has it, but probably in battle near Elgin in 1040 by his first cousin Macbeth, a grandson of Malcolm. Shakespeare’s description of Macbeth as Thane of Glamis and Cawdor is inaccurate as Glamis did not become a thaneage until 1264.

In 1372, Robert II granted the thaneage of Glamis to Sir John Lyon of Forteviot as a reward for services rendered. In 1376, Sir John married the king’s daughter, Joanna, and shortly afterwards the thaneage was transformed into a Norman-style feudal barony. Thus began a line of descent that continues to this day, and it was Sir John’s son, also Sir John Lyon, who began the building of the Castle as we know it in modern times.

Sir John’s son, Patrick Lyon, was created a peer in 1445. It was he who began the building of the Great Tower, which was completed by his widow in 1484. Surrounding the Castle were defensive walls.
Following the death of John, 6th Lord Glamis, tragedy struck when James V, obsessed by his hatred of the Douglas family, falsely accused John’s widow, herself a Douglas, with witchcraft and had her burned at the stake outside Edinburgh Castle. Her young son and the heir to the title was imprisoned and condemned to death, while Glamis was forfeited to the Crown. King James held his court in the Castle from 1537 to 1542 as is evidenced by the many Royal charters and decrees issued from Glamis during this period. When the young 7th Lord Glamis was released after the death of James V, Parliament restored his property to him, but on his return to the Castle he found it had been stripped of all its most valuable things.

A happier event took place in 1562 when the daughter of James V – Mary Queen of Scots – showed great favour by visiting Glamis.
Mary was greatly impressed. The English ambassador who was present wrote to Elizabeth I that in spite of “… extreme Fowle and Colde weather, I never saw her merrier, never dismayed”.

The 8th Lord Glamis was Chancellor of Scotland and Keeper of the Great Seal. By the end of the 16th century, he was described as having “the greatest revenue of any baron in Scotland” and of being “very wise and discreet”. His son, the 9th Lord Glamis, was created Earl of Kinghorne by James VI in 1606. He became one of the King’s Privy Councillors and accompanied his sovereign south when James succeeded to the English throne.

Of the 2nd Earl of Kinghorne it is said, “,,, coming to his inheritance the wealthiest peer in Scotland, he left it the poorest”. This was largely due to his friendship with James Graham, Marquis of Montrose, with whom he joined forces. Later, though, when Montrose turned against the Covenanters, the 2nd Earl helped finance the Covenanter army against Montrose and beggared himself in the process.

When Patrick, 3rd Earl of Kinghorne, came to his inheritance he found himself burdened by massive debts. By hard work over forty years, he returned Glamis to solvency. In 1677 he obtained the title of Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, which his successors have borne ever since. Patrick carried out substantial improvements to the Castle, adding the west wing and the Chapel, and remodelling much of the existing interior.

The 5th Earl joined the Jacobite cause and was killed at the Battle of Sheriffmuir in 1715. In the following year, the 6th Earl entertained the Old Chevalier, James VIII and III, and his entourage at Glamis. While there, the King touched for the ‘King’s Evil’ in the Chapel. A true sovereign, it was said, could cure sufferers of this lymphatic disorder, common at the time, by touching them. It is said that all the sufferers who came to Glamis were cured, which the Jacobites took as a sure sign that he was the rightful King. The King’s pocket watch can be seen in the Family Exhibition Room.

In 1767, the 9th Earl married a great English heiress and assumed her family name of Bowes. The 13th Earl later re-introduced the original name of Lyon by taking the name Bowes Lyon, which is still in use today.

The 20th century brought further royal connections to Glamis with the marriage at Westminster Abbey on 26 April 1923 between Prince Albert, Duke of York, second son of King George V, and the Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, the youngest daughter of the 14th Earl of Strathmore. At the abdication of King Edward VIII, the Duke of York ascended the throne as King George VI with the Duchess as Queen Consort and, ultimately, H.M. Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Glamis was the Queen Mother’s childhood home, and it was there that her younger daughter, Princess Margaret, was born in 1930, the first royal baby in direct line to the throne to be born in Scotland for 300 years, a fact which is proudly remembered at Glamis.

The present Earl, Michael, the 18th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, is married to Isobel and they have three sons: the heir, Simon Patrick, Lord Glamis, the Hon. John Fergus Bowes Lyon and the Hon. George Norman Bowes Lyon.

A fuller history of Glamis is contained in our Guide Book available in English, Dutch, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Japanese.

Where is Glamis Castle

Just outside the village of Glamis, north of Dundee. Glamis is still the family home of the Earls of Strathmore, but is open to the public. Open May to September daily except Sunday
History of Glamis Castle

The family home of the Earls of Strathmore since 1372, when Robert II of Scotland gave the castle to Sir John Lyon.
It is the setting for Shakespeare’s Macbeth and is refereed to specifically :- “Glamis thou art” “and yet woulds’t wrongly win: thou’dst have great Glamis” It is popularly believed that Duncan was murdered here by Macbeth

Legends and myths have grown around the castle. King Malcolm II was said to have been murdered here in the 11th century. Lady Janet Douglas, widow of the Earl of Glamis, was burned at the stake as a witch in 1540 by James V. There is said to be a secret room where a nobleman played cards with the devil himself.
Glamis today looks more like a French Chateau than a medieval fortress, because it was extensively restored in the 17th and 18th centuries. The original tower house remains at the centre of the castle today

It has, of course, close connections with the present Royal Family, being the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother ( she being the youngest daughter of the 14th Earl), and Princess Margaret was born here in 1930

Located in Scotland near the village of Glamis, 5 miles west of Forfar, Glamis Castle resides. One of the things that it is most famous for is that it was the setting for Shakespear’s “Macbeth”. Among the oldest and most haunting parts of the castle is Duncan’s Hall, which commemorates the slaying of King Duncan by Macbeth. Although the actual killing took place near Elgin, this is the traditional Shakespearean scene of the crime.

Glamis is the ancestral home of the Lyon, now Bowes-lyon family. At the head are the Earls of Strathmore, who, though ennobled three times before, became Scottish Earls in 1677 and UK Earls only in 1937, when Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, Duchess of York, became Queen of England, later Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother who’s childhood home was Glamis. Princess Margaret was born at Glamis and it also has the room where King Malcolm of Scotland died after being wounded in battle. The Castle was visited by Mary Queen of Scots on 22nd August, 1562. The famous secret chamber is said to be known only to the Laird and his heir. The Castle has many legends and secrets surrounding it.

The first and most well known legend is of the secret room or chamber that is hidden deep within the castle walls
It is said that The Lord of Glamis and “Tiger” Earl of Crawford played cards with the Devil himself on Sabbath. So great were the resulting disturbances that the room was sealed up 300 years later permanently.

The secret chamber is thought to be located deep in the thickness of the crypt walls on the left as you face the two small windows at the end

The second story of this event goes that one stormy night when the Earl was alone in this chamber in the Castle, he called for a pack of cards and ordered his servants to play cards with him. They refused, because it was Sunday. This made the Earl furious, an he shouted, “I’d play with the Devil himself if he were here!”
There was an immediate knock at the door. And when the Earl said: “Enter in the fiends name!” The Devil himself walked in.

Before long the servants heard horrifying sounds coming from the room. One of them tried to peer through the keyhole and was blasted by a sheet of flame. Since then, claims the story, the Devil and the Earl have been playing cards in that room non-stop for hundreds of years.

It is also said that the chamber contains the bones of Scottish clansmen who sought refuge from enemies. They were admitted by the lord of Glamis, and led to this chamber. The doors and windows were bricked in and the clansmen were left to starve to death.

Another story tells of a stonemason who accidentally saw inside the room, the horrors he saw were so great that they caused him to die from shock. The stonemason’s wife was given several thousand dollars compensation, and packed off to Australia to prevent any scandal.

Other stories are told of ghostly spectres that haunt Glamis
A prominent Edinburgh lawyer was driving to Glamis on a visit a few years ago, he and some friends had been invited to dinner there. As they drove into the castle grounds they saw the shadowy figure of a woman dressed in white. To their astonishment she glided along so swiftly she kept pace with the car-and accompanied them right up to the castle doors. Then she vanished. At first they thought she was one of the maids out for an evening stroll. But they were soon informed that all the maids were indoors that night. However, because of the strange appearance of the woman and the speed and manner with which she had moved, the lawyer admitted that he believed she had been a ghost.

This ghost is believed to be of the Lady of Glamis who became Lady Campbell after her husband’s death. A trumped-up charge of witchcraft was bought against her by the cruel and wicked Monarch James V. Although she was a woman of impeccable character and a very beautiful and popular lady she was imprisoned. After a long imprisonment in a dark dungeon, she was almost blind. She was burned alive at the stake outside Edinburgh Castle. Even her young son was condemned to death and imprisoned only to be released after the king had died.Her ghost known as “The White Lady” has haunted Glamis Castle for hundreds of years.

There is also a Gray Lady who roams the castle and the grounds, but as history does not record anything about her sad past, she is a complete mystery. However, more than 100 people present in the castle on one occasion saw her glide past them.
A ghost of a small boy servant is often seen waiting patiently on a stone seat just inside the Queen Mothers Sitting Room.

A woman guest once saw a Ghost in Armour. One night as she could not sleep, she kept a candle burning, and during the night a chilly blast swept through the room, blowing out the candle. The woman looked around and she saw the huge figure of a man in a suit of mail armour, silhouetted against the glow of a nightlight which was burning in her baby’s room, and glowed through the open adjoining door. The specter seemed to be seeking some way into the child’s room, and on finding the door it went in. Seconds later, the mother heard her child screaming with terror.
Frantically the mother rushed into the room . . . but the child was alone, sobbing out something about a giant who had come into the room and leaned over her face.

Another guest saw on a moonlit night as he was gazing out of his bedroom window another window directly opposite. Looking back at him from there was another face. This did not alarm him. He knew there were other guests staying at the castle. Then he took a second look at the face and noticed what he had not observed before.

The face was too transparent and misty to be that of a human and as he looked at the sad face of the ghost and wished there was something he could do to help it, it disappeared. Shortly after the face disappeared he heard a faint, horrifying scream coming across from the window, he thought that it sounded like a man being tortured. He then saw a bent figure of an old woman carrying a heavy bundle across the grounds below. The woman walked a few steps then disappeared.

Once again another woman guest awoke at about 4.00am by the sound of loud hammering. The sound continued for some time and kept on going as she fell asleep. She told the hosts about her experience the next morning and was surprised to be told by them that she was not to mention this incident again!

Glamis Castle is open to the public usually from 10.30 a.m.-5.30 p.m. (last admission 4.45 p.m.) from Saturday, 1st April, to Monday, 30th October, 1995 (all days inclusive).

It is located 5 miles miles from Fofar and just near the village of Glamis:

DD8 1RL. Glamis, Angus, Scotland
TEL: 01307-840202
FAX: 01307-840257
Location: Glamis, Forfar, Angus. OS
Map 54: NO 386480.
Owner: Earl of Strathmore & Kinghorne.
Facilities: Guidebooks, Gardens, Gifts, Cafe, Meals, Toilets
Tel. 01307 840242
Open: Apr-Oct, Mon-Sun.
Entry Fee: £5.00 and over

Glamis Castle is a particularly grand, large chateau-style castle, owned by the Lyon and Bowes-Lyon family from 1372 until the present day. It has close Royal connections as Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother is a member of the family, and her daughter Princess Margaret was born here.

Guided tours take one through sumptuously furnished rooms, commencing with the dining room in a wing of 1798. The vaulted crypt is in the original tower, and a secret chamber is said to be located here. A minor stair leads down to the castle well. The principal, wide, turnpike dates to 1600, and leads up to the drawing room in what was the great hall. Also vaulted, it has a plaster ceiling and great fireplace.

The chapel has amazing painted panels of 1688 by Jacob de Wet. These depict the saints of Christ, with St Simon wearing glasses and Christ donning a hat! Three rooms make up the Royal Apartments. They were converted in 1923 following the marriage of Lady Elizabeth to Prince (later King) George. Duncan’s Hall is where Macbeth slew Duncan, according to Shakespeare. It is a plain vault with prison off it. The Blue Room is now an exhibition room with notable family relics, including the watch left by the Old Pretender in the castle. The coach house has another exhibition on estate life past and present. Glamis has many ghostly legends.

My family have lived in Glamis Castle since 1372 when Sir John Lyon was granted the thaneage of Glamis by King Robert II. In 1376 Sir John married the King’s daughter, Princess Joanna. Since then Glamis has been visited and lived in by many members of the Scottish and British royal families. I am very pleased to welcome you and I trust that the glimpse you will see of what Glamis has to offer will prove interesting. The Castle has been added to and altered throughout the centuries and it continues to evolve even today. I hope to maintain the Castle in as good a condition or better than you see it now, for above all Glamis is still a home to which my family and I are extremely attached. As we enter the new millennium, I cannot help but wonder at the reaction of my ancestors to such a technological marvel. I hope you will enjoy your visit in cyberspace. It would afford me great pleasure should you wish to come again in person with your friends.

The Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne

As far as the 8th century Glamis was a special place, and St. Fergus came from Ireland and was said to have preached to the Picts there. King Malcolm II of Scotland died in Glamis in 1034, and his son Duncan I, was slain by his cousin, the notorious Macbeth in 1040.

In 1372 King Robert II, the first Stewart King of Scotland created Sir John Lyon of Forteviot “Thane of Glamis” and gave him Glamis Castle, which had been used previously as a royal hunting lodge. Four years later Sir John, who may have been a Pict Thane prior to his Scottish title, married the king’s daughter, Joanna, and was appointed Chamberlain of Scotland. Their descendants still live there. Their grandson became Lord Glamis in 1445, the title “Earl of Strathmore” was created in 1606, and the title “Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne” in 1677. The family name became Bowes-Lyon in 1767. Before the 18th century, there were numerous outer defenses made of walls and towers; these were torn down in the 1790’s, as the violent clan wars of Scotland’s past slowed down. All that is left of the outer defenses are two small turrets, a sundial and the statues of James VI and his son, Charles I.

Many legends are told about Glamis, and ancient Pictish rune stones have been found around the castle. A secret chamber is thought to be deep within the castle walls. In this chamber one of the Lords of Glamis and the “Tiger” Earl of Crawford of nearby Edzell Castle played cards with the Devil himself on the Sabbath. So great were the consequences that the room was sealed 300 years later.

Glamis is famous as the renowned setting for Shakespeare’s famous tragedy “Macbeth” and as the childhood home of the Queen Mother of Great Britain who, before her marriage to the late King George VI, was Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. Among the oldest and most haunting parts of the castle is Duncan’s Hall, which commemorates the slaying of King Duncan by Macbeth. Although the actual killing took place near Elgin, this is the traditional Shakespearean scene of the crime.

Glamis Castle – the noblest architectural ornament in the county

Glamis Castle has been in the Lyons family since 1372. The south west wing of the present castle incorporates a building dating from 1400, lending antiquity to a castle described in Forfarshire Illustrated as ‘the noblest architectural ornament in the county’. A tower was added to this original building in 1445 by Patrick, Lord Glamis and Master of the Household of James II.
The family was not always favoured by royalty. In the late 1530’s Janet, Lady Glamis, the widow of the 6th Lord and the sister of the Earl of Angus, was accused of using sorcery to conspire against the life of James V. She was burned alive as a witch on the Castle Hill of Edinburgh. The estate was confiscated and its treasures appropriated by the King who used the castle as a royal residence. Glamis was returned to the 7th Lord after the death of James V in 1542.

In 1606 the family was advanced when Patrick, 9th Lord was created the Earl of Kinghorne. In the same year he began to remodel his castle to make it more comfortable. He added architectural details such as the round chimneys and balconied gables, reputedly under the direction of the famous architect Inigo Jones. This was probably when old defensive features such as the moat, the courtyard wall and an outer court were removed. The estate was further improved by Patrick, the 3rd Earl of Kinghorne and Strathmore. Glamis had been neglected under his father and had suffered for his support of the Covenanting cause and the Marquis of Montrose. Patrick inherited an estate burdened by $400,000 of debt. To his credit he paid this enormous sum off and then began his own improvements including building the north east wing. He was also a great patron of sculptors and commissioned many statues for the grounds, most of which no longer exist.

The last extensive remodeling took place in the 1840’s in the aftermath of a fire.

Glamis Castle is perhaps best known as the childhood home of the Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, youngest daughter of the 14th Earl who became Queen Elizabeth and mother of the present Queen.
Location: Glamis Tayside, Scotland

The following information was researched by our volunteer team member Carolyn D. Ahrns from Las Vegas, NV. Thank you very much!

It is hard to believe that this beautiful castle which looks like it is right out of the pages of a children’s fairytale is considered the most haunted castle in Scotland. Legends tell of Glamis to be home to a vampire, a witch, and several ghosts.

HISTORY:

Long before there was a royal hunting lodge or castle, there was a village. Glamis Village’s roots can be traced back to the 8th century. In 710 A.D. an Irish missionary named Fergus settled here. It is believed he lived in a cave near the church. Baptizing early converts at the church’s well he brought Christianity to the area. Fergus lived here until his death after which he was canonized. The church was named St. Fergus Kirk after him. The well’s water is still used today to baptize church members. The present church was built in 1459, rebuilt in 1790, Strathmore Aisle is the only original part that remains from the 13th century. In the church’s graveyard one can see many old gravestones which display evidence of plague and the diseases of Medieval Europe. The headstones are carved with the trade symbols of the deceased. A sculpture carved in stone by the Picts still stands, evidence that they were living in the area around the time of Fergus. Today village is over 300 years old. Most of the original houses built by the 3rd Earl have been replaced, only a few of the original buildings still stand. According to the earliest records Glamis Castle was originally a hunting lodge owned by the Scottish Crown. The first thane age of Glamis was granted in 1264. In 1372, Robert the II, the first Stewart King of Scots, granted thane age of Glamis to Sir John Lyon of Forteviot, (a ancient Celtic thane age) as a reward for his services rendered to the crown. The royal hunting lodge existed on the site already. The lodge was very different from the castle we see today. In 1376, Sir John married Joanna the king’s daughter. Shortly after he was appointed Chamberlain of Scotland, the most important office to the crown. Sir John’s son, also Sir John Lyon, the 2nd Earl, started construction of the main building after 1400. This is the east wing of the present day castle. Sir John’s decedents have lived at Glamis throughout the centuries, and it remains home to the Lyon family today. Glamis was the childhood home to Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, mother of Queen Elizabeth II, and is the birth place of Princess Margaret (1930) who is the first royal baby born in Scotland in over 300 years.

THE HAUNTINGS:

There is a feeling of overwhelming sadness when one enters the chapel and the sounds of hollowing knocking is sometimes heard. The sadness intensifies around the Grey Lady. She can been seen kneeling in front of the altar praying. She is one of Scottish history’s most tragic victims. Over 400 years ago the 6th Lord of Glamis married Janet Douglas. They had one son John. They lived a peaceful and happy life at Glamis until the of death her husband Lord Glamis, in 1528. Lady Janet was born into the Douglas Clan. Her brother was the stepfather of King James V. King James hated his stepfather, obsessed by a deep hatred for anyone who bore the Douglas name, King James would carry out a ruthless vendetta against them. Lady Janet became the center of King James’ hatred. Lady Janet no longer had the protection of her marriage to Lord Glamis. King James confiscated Glamis Castle for the crown by accusing Lady Janet of witchcraft and of making deadly potions with which to kill him. No one ever doubted that these accusations were not true, but Lady Janet and her son were imprisoned in the dark dudgeons of Edinburgh Castle. Occupying Glamis, King James held court there from 1537 to 1542. Still in existence are many charters and royal decrees from the castle dated from this period. Throwing Lady Janet into prison was easy for King James, but convicting her of his trumped up charge of witchcraft would be difficult. Her character was impeccable, without blemish, and she was very much respected by everyone who knew her. In order to get the testimony he needed to convict her, the King resorted to torture. Her clansmen and servants were put on the rack and stretched to the point of agony. They finally gave false evidence against her. John, her son, who was 16 at the time was forced to watch in horror, before being brutality tortured himself. Using these savage tactics the King got his confessions. Lady Janet was convicted of witchcraft, and she and her son were condemned to death. On July 17, 1537, almost blind from her long imprisonment in the dungeon, Lady Janet Glamis was burned alive at Edinburgh Castle. On lookers fell silent. Lady Janet was a beautiful young woman. An eyewitness of the execution described her suffering with great commiseration. Being in the prime of her years, of singular beauty, she endured her suffering, and although being a woman, with a man like courage. Her innocence was never doubted. It is believed that she was not executed for witchcraft, but for the hatred James V had for her brother. Her son John, the 7th Lord of Glamis was released after King James V died. Parliament restored Glamis back to him. Sadly upon his return to the castle he found that everything of value had been taken by James V. Before his death, it is said King James V had felt remorse for his actions. After Lady Janet’s execution the Grey Lady began appearing at the castle. The hollow knocking sound heard is thought to be the hammering of the workmen building the scaffold on which Lady Janet was burned alive. Lady Janet’s spirit wanders the castle and can not only be seen in the chapel but above the clock tower as well.

In the 15th century the 2nd Lord of Glamis (known as Earl Beardie) was an avid card player. Earl Beardie and the Earl of Crawford were playing cards late on a Saturday night. According to the story about this event, a servant came to remind Earl Beardie that it was nearing midnight. The servant urged them to stop playing. It was sacrilege to play cards on the Sabbath. Lord Glamis shouted for all to hear they would play until Dooms Day if they wanted and ordered the servant out of the room. The game continued and at five minutes to midnight the servant again warned his Lord of the time. Earl Beardie said he would play with the Devil himself and ordered the servant out. At the stroke of midnight there was a knock on the door and a tall stranger dressed in black entered asking to join the game. The stranger sat down and placed a handful of rubies on the table. Earl Beardie and Earl Crawford did not object to his company. Soon after, an argument was heard to erupt between the two Earls. When the servant peered into the room he saw the two men engulfed in flames. It is said that Earl Beardie had played cards with the Devil and for playing on the Sabbath he was condemned to play until Dooms Day. His ghost still roams the halls trapped for eternity doomed to return to the room to play cards with the Devil. Sounds of stamping, swearing and dice rattling are heard from the tower where Earl Beardie is said to have cursed God and played with the Devil.

Another Glamis ghost is the apparition of a toungeless woman seen running across the castle grounds at midnight tearing at her mouth.

Glamis’ vampire is believed a servant woman who was caught sucking the blood of her victim. According to legend she was walled up alive in a secret chamber, where she waits to be let lose again.

Sometime in the 1700’s a rumor had started telling of a room which a secret so horrible only the Lords of Glamis, their heirs and the steward of the castle were allowed to view it. It is said this secret changed the Lords so much that even after their 21st birthday when they were shown the room, some refused to acknowledge the room for fear they would lose their sanity. In recent years several guests attending a party at the castle decided to look for the secret room. By placing towels in every window of the castle, they went outside to see only one window without a towel, but no one has ever been able to find the entrance to the secret room.

Other ghostly occurrences are of a more recent time including screams, banging noises, sheets being ripped off beds in the middle of the night, and doors that mysteriously open even though they are locked and bolted.

A guest staying at the castle was sitting up late one night; he glanced up at the window where he saw a face appear. It was very plae, with great sorrow in its eyes, and appeared as if it wanted to attract his attention. Suddenly it vanished, almost as if some superior strength had ripped it away from the window.

Another guest was staying in the Blue Room. She was awakened by a hand being brushed against her cheek. She awoke to see a ghostly face of a man with a beard hovering over her. Terrified she closed her eyes and when she opened them again the ghastly face had disappeared.

Glamis Castle

Built: Started about 1010.
Location: 12 Miles west of Dundee on the A94.
Our Dear Queen Mother Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, was born here.

As far back as the 8th century, Glamis was a holy place with links to St. Fergus, who is said to have lived and died there.

Later, Glamis was a hunting lodge of the Scottish kings. When King Malcolm II was mortally wounded in battle on Hunter’s Hill near Glamis in 1034, he was brought to the Castle where he died.

His grandson, King Duncan I, was slain not in Glamis, as legend has it, but probably in battle near Elgin in 1040 by his first cousin Macbeth, a grandson of Malcolm. Shakespeare’s description of Macbeth as Thane of Glamis and Cawdor is inaccurate, as Glamis did not become a thaneage until 1264.

In 1372, Robert II granted the thaneage of Glamis to Sir John Lyon of Forteviot as a reward for services rendered. In 1376, Sir John married the king’s daughter, Joanna, and shortly afterwards the thaneage was transformed into a Norman-style feudal barony.

Thus began a line of descent that continues to this day, and it was Sir John’s son, also Sir John Lyon, who began the building of the Castle as we know it in modern times.

Sir John’s son, Patrick Lyon, was created a peer in 1445. It was he who began the building of the Great Tower, which was completed by his widow in 1484. Surrounding the Castle were defensive walls.

Following the death of John, 6th Lord Glamis, tragedy struck when James V, obsessed by his hatred of the Douglas family, falsely accused John’s widow, herself a Douglas, with witchcraft and had her burned at the stake outside Edinburgh Castle. Her young son and the heir to the title was imprisoned and condemned to death, while Glamis was forfeited to the Crown. King James held his court in the Castle from 1537 to 1542 as is evidenced by the many Royal charters and decrees issued from Glamis during this period. When the young 7th Lord Glamis was released after the death of James V, Parliament restored his property to him, but on his return to the Castle he found it had been stripped of all its most valuable things.

A happier event took place in 1562 when the daughter of James V – Mary Queen of Scots – showed great favour by visiting Glamis. Mary was greatly impressed. The English ambassador who was present wrote to Elizabeth I that in spite of “… extreme Fowle and Colde weather, I never saw her merrier, never dismayed”.

The 8th Lord Glamis was Chancellor of Scotland and Keeper of the Great Seal. By the end of the 16th century, he was described as having “the greatest revenue of any baron in Scotland” and of being “very wise and discreet”. His son, the 9th Lord Glamis, was created Earl of Kinghorne by James VI in 1606. He became one of the King’s Privy Councillors and accompanied his sovereign south when James succeeded to the English throne.

Of the 2nd Earl of Kinghorne it is said, ” coming to his inheritance the wealthiest peer in Scotland, he left it the poorest”. This was largely due to his friendship with James Graham, Marquis of Montrose, with whom he joined forces. Later, though, when Montrose turned against the Covenanters, the 2nd Earl helped finance the Covenanter army against Montrose and beggared himself in the process.

When Patrick, 3rd Earl of Kinghorne, came to his inheritance he found himself burdened by massive debts. By hard work over forty years, he returned Glamis to solvency. In 1677 he obtained the title of Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, which his successors have borne ever since. Patrick carried out substantial improvements to the Castle, adding the west wing and the Chapel, and remodelling much of the existing interior.

The 5th Earl joined the Jacobite cause and was killed at the Battle of Sheriffmuir in 1715. In the following year, the 6th Earl entertained the Old Chevalier, James VIII and III, and his entourage at Glamis. While there, the King touched for the ‘King’s Evil’ in the Chapel. A true sovereign, it was said, could cure sufferers of this lymphatic disorder, common at the time, by touching them. It is said that all the sufferers who came to Glamis were cured, which the Jacobites took as a sure sign that he was the rightful King. The King’s pocket watch can be seen in the Family Exhibition Room.

In 1767, the 9th Earl married a great English heiress and assumed her family name of Bowes. The 13th Earl later re-introduced the original name of Lyon by taking the name Bowes Lyon, which is still in use today.

The 20th century brought further royal connections to Glamis with the marriage at Westminster Abbey on 26 April 1923 between Prince Albert, Duke of York, second son of King George V, and the Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, the youngest daughter of the 14th Earl of Strathmore. At the abdication of King Edward VIII, the Duke of York ascended the throne as King George VI with the Duchess as Queen Consort and, ultimately, H.M. Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Glamis was the Queen Mother’s childhood home, and it was there that her younger daughter, Princess Margaret, was born in 1930, the first royal baby in direct line to the throne to be born in Scotland for 300 years, a fact which is proudly remembered at Glamis.

Sir Walter Scott wrote, after staying a night at Glamis, “… that when I heard door after door shut, after my conductor had retired, I began to consider myself as too far from the living, and somewhat too near the dead… I must own it… “
Scott’s feelings were understandable as Glamis reeks of history and is peopled with phantoms, be they genuine echoes of past occurrences or the figments of imaginations held in thrall by the very stones which have witnessed nearly seven hundred years of Scotland’s history.

From the earliest records it is known that Glamis belonged to the Scottish crown. It was not originally a fortress which is why it stands on low-lying ground. According to the earliest records Glamis Castle original purpose was as a hunting lodge for the King of Scots who doubtless enjoyed many a good day out in the forests which must then have been hereabouts. Its position on boggy ground provided some defence. The royal hunting lodge that existed on the site originally was very different from the castle as we see it today. A splendid example of the `Scottish baronial’ style, an amalgam of the traditional Scottish tower house and the French Renaissance chateau, and is an example of the largely illusionary idea of a Gothic castle represented in French miniatures of the fifteenth century, a filigree of spires and turrets.

Set amongst the rolling hills of Angus, five miles from Forfar, in the fertile valley of Strathmore, approximately 20km from the North Sea, in an area of considerable ancient history. Even before the castle was built, this ancient land was the scene of many historical events that have been traced back as far as the Picts’ habitation. It was here that St Fergus began his work of converting the wild, lawless heathens to Christianity.

King Malcolm II was mortally wounded in battle on Hunter’s Hill near Glamis in 1034. He was brought to the Castle and died there where a chamber is still named after him. He was succeeded by his elder daughter’s son, Duncan I, who was slain near Elgin (probably in battle) by his first cousin Macbeth (the son of Malcolm’s younger daughter) in 1040. Macbeth, in turn, met a sticky end and although Shakespeare makes a great drama out of it, these events were not uncommon in the turbulent Scotland of those days when Kings of Scots were frequently slain by their heirs.

The first recorded granting of the thaneage of Glamis dates from 1264.

We must now leap the centuries to the year 1372 when the Lyon family came into possession of Glamis Tower in Kinhorn. In this year Robert II, the first Stewart King of Scots, granted the thaneage of Glamis to Sir John Lyon of Forteviot as a reward for his services rendered to the crown. In 1376 Sir John married the King’s daughter, Princess Joanna. Soon after the marriage the King appointed Sir John Chamberlain of Scotland, Knighted him in 1377 and then raised the thaneage of Glamis into a feudal barony.
Sir John met a violent end at the hands of Sir James Lindsay of Crawford, Scotland’s ambassador to England. It is said that he was murdered in his bed. After his murdered, his son, also Sir John Lyon, inherited Glamis, married the great granddaughter of Robert II, and started the construction of the main building after 1400.

His son, Patrick, was created a peer of Parliament in 1445 as 1st Lord Glamis. After being released by the English who had held him hostage for King James I of Scots. He became a Privy Councillor and Master of the Household in 1450. Patrick began building the Great Tower c.1435 which was completed by his widow in 1484. It was not however linked to the east wing for a further hundred years.

His son, Patrick Lyon 7th Lord Glamis, James V who had been dominated by his Douglas stepfather and manipulated by other members of the Clan became obsessed in his hatred of all of the name of Douglas and carried on a ruthless vendetta against them. Poor Lady Campbell (as Lady Glamis had become after her husband’s death), a woman of impeccable character, of singular beauty and popularity, did not escape this depraved monarch’s ferocity. A trumped-up charge of witchcraft was brought against her and she was condemned to be burnt at the stake as a witch. After long imprisonment in a dark dungeon, she was almost blind. Luckily her husband was dead and did not have to suffer seeing her being burnt alive outside Edinburgh Castle. Even her young son was condemned to death and imprisoned only to be released after the king had died.

Not content with this grave atrocity, the King considered Glamis Castle as forfeit to the Crown, occupied it and held Court there from 1537 to 1542. Many existing royal decrees and charters are dated from the Castle during this period. These events suggest the Castle was a comfortable and desirable place at the time.

When the young 7th Lord Glamis was released after James V’s death and restored to his property by Act of Parliament, he found that the 9th royal usurpers had plundered the Castle of all its most valuable things – silver, bedding and furniture had all been taken away. A happier event took place years after when in 1562 the daughter of the cruel James V visited Glamis and showed great favour with the owner, perhaps as reparation for her father’s wickedness. It was, of course, Mary Queen of Scots.

The 8th Lord Glamis was Chancellor of Scotland and Keeper of the Great Seal. By the end of the 16th century he was described by the English Ambassador as having ‘the greatest revenue of any baron in Scotland’ and of being ‘very wise and discreet’. At about that time the household consisted of ‘a principal servitor and maister stabular, 2 servitors, a musicianer, master cook and browster (for the bakehouse and brewhouse respectively) foremen, a maister porter and his servant, a grieve and an officer’. The lady of the house would be attended by ‘2 gentlewomen, a browdinstar (embroiderer), a lotrix (bedmaker) and two other female servants’. Like his forebear, Sir John Lyon, he met his death at the hands of followers of the Lindsay family, though this time it was by accident.

His son, the 9th Lord Glamis was created Earl of Kinghorne by James VI in 1606. His title probably relates to the grant, by Robert II to Sir John Lyon in 1381, of the burgh of Kinghorne, in Fife. This higher rank of peerage in some way redressed the wrong done to the Lyon family by James V.

The 2nd Earl of Kinghorne, it is said, ‘coming to his inheritance the wealthiest peer in Scotland, he left it the poorest’. This was largely because of his friendship with James Graham, Marquis of Montrose, with whom he joined forces. Montrose was at first a fierce Covenanter (against Popery and episcopacy) but later became more of a Royalist. There came a point when Kinghorne’s conscience forced him to part company from his old friend when the latter took up arms against the Covenanters, and to throw in his lot against him. He even helped finance the Covenanting army against Montrose and thus beggared himself in the process.

Thus when Patrick, 3rd Earl of Kinghorne came into his inheritance he found his estates burdened with debts amounting to £40,000 – an absolutely massive sum in those days. He was advised that his estates were ‘irrecoverable’ but after 40 years hard work and determination he restored his inheritance to solvency.

Patrick obtained a new charter to his patent of peerage in 1677 and was afterwards known as ‘The Earl of Stradlmore and Kinghorne’ as have been his successors ever since.

It says much for this young man that he managed not only to pay off his debts by strict economies, but also was later able to rebuild and improve Glamis Castle to very much its appearance today. This can be seen by examining the distant view of the building in the huge family painting of Stradlmore and his sons in the Drawing Room.

Lord Stradlmore re-modelled the Castle. He added the west wing in 1679 giving a false symmetry. He swept away the courtyard buildings, laid out the main avenue at 45 degrees to the Castle so that the large stair became the centre of the composition. In front he created a baroque setting of courts, sculptures and vistas. The interiors were equally rich. He built and decorated the Chapel and adapted the old Great Hall of the Castle, which had already been made elegant with plasterwork in 1621, into a fine Drawing Room which turned out to be his favourite part of the Castle and described in the diary as ‘My Great Hall, which is a room that I ever loved’. He also kept a ‘private buffoon’ or jester and was the last nobleman to do so in Scotland. This jester’s modey is still preserved in the Castle and can be seen in the Drawing Room and a small copy of it, worn by the Queen Mother’s brother when a boy at a fancy dress party, can be seen in the Family Exhibition Room. The jester himself, it is recorded, was dismissed for proposing to a young daughter of the house!

The 4th Earl of Stradlmore married Lady Elizabeth Stanhope, a daughter of The 2nd Earl of Chesterfield. He had seven sons, two of whom became Lord Glamis, both predeceasing their father and four other brothers who succeeded to the Earldom in turn.

When the Old Chevalier left the Castle, he absentmindedly left his watch under the pillow. The maid who cleaned out the room after he had left, stole it. Many years later, that maid’s great-great-great- granddaughter returned the watch to Glamis Castle. This, together with a sword which he presented to his host are shown in the Family Exhibition.

The 9th Earl was a Representative Peer for Scotland. Scottish peers did not then have an automatic right to sit in the House of Lords, but had to be elected by their fellow peers to do so. Lord Stradlmore married a great Durham heiress, Miss Mary Eleanor Bowes, the daughter of Sir George Bowes of Streadam Castle and Gibside. The Bowes were a family of ancient and honourable descent, Sir Robert Bowes being Elizabeth I’s ambassador to Scotland from 1577 to 1583. The 9th Earl added new kitchens and the Billiard Room in 1773 and new service courts beyond the east wing. He began remodelling the policies pulling down the garden walls in front of the Castle and moving, in 1775, the gates to the periphery of the Estate.

The 10th Earl was also a Representative Peer, but was given the U.K. tide of Lord Bowes which entitled him to a seat in the Lords without election. He took the name of Bowes and later the surname Lyon was reincorporated to form the present name of Bowes Lyon. He also quartered the arms of Bowes with his own. The former were also punning arms – three bows ‘proper’ on an ermine background, and so the family are a great rarity in having punning arms for both their surnames on the same shield.

Although he lived largely on his estates in County Durham he completed much of the work at Glamis begun by his father. He re-roofed the east wing in 1797, rebuilt the west wing 1798-1801 and re-planted the main avenue c.1820.

The 10th Earl died in 1820 the day after his marriage and he was succeeded by his brother, the 11th Earl, when the barony of Bowes became extinct. The 10th Earl had a natural son by Mary Milner. He was John Bowes who founded the Bowes Museum at Barnard Castle. The Earl married Mary Milner in an unsuccessful attempt to legitimise John Bowes.

It was the 13th Earl who modernised and made the Castle into a comfortable home for his large family. Gas was introduced in 1865 to be replaced by electricity in 1929. He installed running water in 1865 and central heating in 1866. He built a five-acre walled garden in 1866 to provide vegetables, fruit and flowers for the Castle and in the same year re-opened the chapel. He refaced the servants courts beyond the east wing in 1891 -97 and in 1893 created the Dutch garden in front of the Castle.

Glamis is most famous today as the childhood home to Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, mother of Queen Elizabeth II, and is the birth place of Princess Margaret (1930) who is the first royal baby born in Scotland in over 300 years.

The twentieth century brought further royal connections to Glamis with the marriage at Westminster Abbey on the 26th April 1923 between Prince Albert, Duke of York, second son of King George V, and the Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, youngest daughter of the 14th Earl of Strathmore.

This marriage was very popular in Scotland as it strengthened the very real ties of affection between the nation and the Royal Family which had been given such an impetus by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

Lady Elizabeth was the youngest of four daughters of the 14th Earl and his Countess. Lady Violet the eldest, died in childhood; Lady Mary married the 16th Lord Elphinstone and Lady Rose became the wife of Vice-Admiral the 4th Earl Granville.

Although Lady Elizabeth spent much of her childhood at Glamis the was not born here. Her younger daughter, Princess Margaret Rose, Her Royal Highness The Princess Margaret Countess of Snowdon, was born at Glamis in 1930 and was the first royal baby in direct line to the English throne to be born in Scotland for 300 years. This is proudly remembered at Glamis.

At the Abdication of King Edward VIII the Duke of York ascended the Throne as George VI with the Duchess as Queen Consort and, ultimately, H.M. Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

The eldest of the Queen Mother’s six brothers succeeded as 15th Earl, served in the Great War in the Black Watch and married a daughter of the 10th Duke of Leeds. His elder son, John, Master of Glamis, was killed in action in the Second World War while serving in the Scots Guards and the 15th Earl was succeeded by his surviving son, Timothy, who also served in the Black Watch.

The present Lord Strathmore is married to Isobel, daughter of Captain A. Weatherall, and they have three sons: the heir Simon Patrick, Lord Glamis, the Hon. John Fergus Bowes Lyon and the Hon. George Norman Bowes Lyon.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Places. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s