Monday, June 21, 2010

Exploring Scotland 1 Castle at a Time Part 9 Glamis Castle

Glamis Castle was my third favorite castle that we visited. (I'll be telling you about my favorite  in a later blog.)  Our guide was entertaining and informative. We soon found out that it's much more enjoyable when you have people who could tell you about the place you're standing in, than reading it off of a sheet of laminated cardstock as you passed through.

Glamis is still used as a family home and it was wonderful to see family photos on the desk in the library. And they had numerous paintings of the Queen Mother. 
 I admit to a prejudice about the Royal family. I always thought the Queen Mother the classiest and most Royal of them. Thus, I was very interested in her family home.

Glamis Castle has a long and varied history. It has been home to the Earl of Glamis since 1372. In 1034, King Malcolm was murdered there.  It is known as the setting for Shakespeare's play MacBeth and also has several ghost stories attached to it.  I'll get into them later.

  I really wish we could have taken pictures inside the castle, but because it's a private residence we weren't allowed. I do have a children's guide book that Glamis puts out. I'll share the address so you can go and download it and see some of the interior for yourself.

First of all, there are lions in every room save one. And the guide invited us to look and try and figure out which one didn't have them. I'm not telling. That would spoil the fun for those of you who travel there. And I hope that's everyone who reads this blog.

The dining Room was magnificent! The silver Galleon that acted as a center piece amazing.  The table was set with precious china and crystal.  Our guide spoke about guests flicking the crystal to make it ring. I'd have flicked their head.
An ornate fireplace dominates the room. And the family paintings that covered the walls were a sorce of interest because I was searching for paintings of the Queen Mother.  

 Every ceiling was done in ornate plaster work and carried the combined crests of the Bowes-Lyons family and the other families who have married into the clan.  That was also true of the stained glass windows in some of the rooms. That someone had taken the time to  record history in such a way appealed to me.

The Queen Mother's bedroom had a canopied bed that had her name embrodered into the canopy.  The Kings Bedroom had a chest of drawers so tall that servants had to stand on stools to get the clothes out of it when they were needed. The heavy drapes upon the canopy reminded me of how they would draw the curtains closed around the bed to hold in the heat of their breaths and their bodies. Because I'm sure the room was draft and cold even with a fire in the fireplace.

There were several ghost stories told associated with Glamis.  And a monster associated with the family. It is rumored that a deformed child was born October 21, 1821 to George Bowes-Lyon and his wife Charlotte.The Queen Mother's great-great grandparents. It is recorded that the child died a couple of days later but the rumor is, he survived into his 50's and was imprisoned inside a room in the castle his entire life. There are several hidden rooms in Glamis to add food for thought. 

Another story that the paranormal writers out there will enjoy is that every few generations a Vampire child is born who has to be hidden inside the castle.

A white lady is supposed to wander the grounds. Possibly Lady Glamis who became Lady Campbell after her marriage. She was burnt at the stake for witchcraft by James V.

And there was the story about the Lord of Glamis and the Earl of Crawford who played cards with the devil on the sabbath and following the episode, there were so many disturbing things happen inside the room it had to be sealed. Our guide offered to allow us to press our ear to the wall and see if we could hear them playing still.

Also in the sixteen foot thick walls there's supposed to be a family named Ogilvie who sought protection from their enemies and instead were sealed inside a room to die of starvation.

Outside at the back of the castle and in front of the gift shop was a fountain dedicated to Fergus,17th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne.

In the center is the Bowes-Lyons lion.

In the parking lot an oyster picker had decided to nest. And some kind employee had put up a small announcement warning off anyone who tried to park in the slot.

And surrounding the castle are enclosed fields with highland coo, the cattle indigenous to Scotland. This one wasn't very interesting in having his picture taken.

I loved Glamis because I thought it lived up to the reputation of what a castle should be with its legends and history. It had both the cone shaped roofs on the towers and the crenellated tops on some of the structures.

                                                                           Until tomorrow.                                                  
                                                                                  Teresa R.


Regencyresearcher said...

Wasn't there a real monster earlier in the life of a Countess of Strathmore who added the name Bowes ( plus her fortune) to the family?. Her second husband was a true monster and enough to put anyone off marriage.
The courtesy title used is Lord Glamis, though the real one is supposedly Viscount Lyons. ( according to the 1842, Debrett, that is.)

I am really enjoying your travels and thank you for sharing.

Nicole North said...

Wonderful descriptions and pictures! You're making me want to travel to Scotland again badly! Thanks for sharing! :)

Jody said...

Lovely pictures Teresa. I have only passed by the castle never been to it, will try on next trip. And I agree the queen mother was the best of the lot. During WWII she wouldn't leave London during the bombings but wanted to stay by her husband's side. Classy lady, and a truer grandmother to Charles and Di's sons than the Queen.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

WOW does it get better than a gorgeous castle with resident ghosts to boot?! I so wanted to see this one, but guess will make sure next trip. Thanks again for your commentary and beautiful photos.

Teresa Reasor said...

Thanks so much for reading my blog ladies. I'm so thrilled you've found them interesting.
Teresa R.