Glamis Castle is one of the most impressive, romantic and reputedly haunted castles in Scotland, home to the Bowes Lyon Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne for hundreds of years and with a splendid interior, and set in beautiful gardens and grounds near Forfar in Angus.

The vicinity of Glamis Castle has prehistoric traces; for example, a noted intricately carved Pictish stone known as the Eassie Stone was found in a creek-bed at the nearby village of Eassie.

In 1034 King Malcolm II was murdered at Glamis, when there was a Royal Hunting Lodge. In William Shakespeare's play Macbeth (1603–1606), the eponymous character resides at Glamis Castle, although the historical King Macbeth (d. 1057) had no connection to the castle.

By 1372 a castle had been built at Glamis, since in that year it was granted by King Robert II to Sir John Lyon, Thane of Glamis, husband of the king's daughter. Glamis has remained in the Lyon (later Bowes-Lyon) family since this time. The castle was rebuilt as an L-plan tower house in the early 15th century.

During the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland, soldiers were garrisoned at Glamis. In 1670 Patrick Lyon, 3rd Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, returned to the castle and found it uninhabitable. Restorations took place until 1689, including the creation of a major Baroque garden. John Lyon, 9th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, succeeded in 1753, and in 1767 he married Mary Eleanor Bowes, heiress to a coal-mining fortune. He set about improving the grounds of the castle in the picturesque style in the 1770s. The south-west wing was rebuilt after a fire in the early 19th century. In the 1920s a huge fireplace from Gibside, the Bowes-Lyon estate near Gateshead, was removed and placed in Glamis' Billiard Room. The fireplace displays the coat of arms of the Blakiston family; Gibside heiress Elizabeth Blakiston had married Sir William Bowes. Several interiors, including the Dining Room, also date from the 18th and 19th centuries.

In 1900, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon was born, the youngest daughter of Claude Bowes-Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne and his wife, Cecilia (née Cavendish-Bentinck). She spent much of her childhood at Glamis, which was used during the First World War as a military hospital. She was particularly instrumental in organising the rescue of the castle's contents during a serious fire on 16 September 1916. On 26 April 1923 she married Prince Albert, Duke of York, second son of King George V, at Westminster Abbey. Their second daughter, Princess Margaret, was born at Glamis Castle in 1930.

Since 1987 an illustration of the castle has featured on the reverse side of ten pound notes issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland. Glamis is currently the home of Simon Bowes-Lyon, 19th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, who succeeded to the earldom in 2016.

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Address

Forfar, United Kingdom
See all sites in Forfar

Details

Founded: 14th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

David Wagner (5 months ago)
March not best time to visit but quiet. Tour guide good, royal connections interesting.
Carol Fitzgerald (9 months ago)
Lovely place as I have a mobility problem not able to go into the castle... There was a video I could watch.... The gardens were lovely.. And the cafe and food was lovely
Ray B (9 months ago)
Wow the light show....well, if you were just to walk round the gardens at night with a few strung lights on route then it would be a lovely experience. However the problem comes when you charge a staggering £15pp then it becomes incredibly disappointing. The idea is good but you expect far more for this price!
Johnny Boy (10 months ago)
Well worth a visit.. full of history guides very knowledgeable... the gardens are worth a stroll through... easy to spend the whole day there
Zel (15 months ago)
Fabulous. So interesting and lots to see. The grounds are beautiful
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