Scotland Glamis Castle is Hauntingly Beautiful
I think Glamis Castle is probably one of the most hauntingly beautiful castles in Scotland, and I mean that literally! (This is the castle on my home page). I got so used to seeing it growing up as it is only about 12 miles north of my own home near Dundee. The Queen Mother was often in residence in those days, and the flags were hoisted in recognition of her.
This magnificent five story castle is the birthplace of Princess Margaret and the childhood home of the Queen Mother, and it is as impressive and fascinating as the history and legends that surround it.
Glamis Castle in the mist
Here you can see Duncan's Hall, where the legendary MacBeth murdered King Duncan in Shakepeare's play, although that of course is fiction.
Glamis in the light of day
There is no need to fictionalise the story of Glamis, because its history makes for compelling reading, and a visit to Glamis will tell you more than mere words. It is still home to family of the Earls of Strathmore whose family have lived there for 600 years.
John, The Ninth Earl of Strathmore
Glamis Castle is the historic seat of the Bowes-Lyons Family whose lands were given to them as a gift by Robert the Bruce in 1372. The Bowes-Lyons family still own the castle as the Earls of Strathmore.
Glamis castle has several ghosts. One in particular is called the 'Grey Lady', and she has been seen sitting in a certain seat in the chapel so often, no-one else is allowed to sit there. The Chapel is still in use, but those who use it respectfully leave her seat vacant. She is said to be the ghost of Lady Janet Glamis, the unwitting enemy of King James V, and was burned at the stake in 1537.
Lady Janet, wife of the sixth Lord Glamis, was falsely accused of witchcraft and plotting to poison the king. She is seen regularly, not only in the chapel, but above the clock tower. A particularly lovely lady to look at, her brother was stepfather to king James V, who hated his stepfather and the entire Douglas family.
Resentful of Lady Douglas, the king imprisoned her and her servants were tortured in order to extract false confessions of her misdeeds before she was finally burned at the stake outside Edinburgh Castle. Her second husband was killed while trying to flee the castle, and her son was also imprisoned until after the death of the king, when Glamis castle was finally returned to him. So much injustice, no wonder she still haunts the place!
This is the chapel in Glamis castle where the "Grey Lady" is still assigned a seat
The other legend, is that of the secret room, where a deformed child was said to have been born to a previous Earl of Strathmore and kept hidden. It was said to have been investigated recently when some guests hung towels from all the rooms and found there was one window that was not covered. They were never able to discover the entrance to this room.
The castle has such an atmosphere about it, it is not hard to give credence to any of these stories and sightings. Not only are there sightings but there are also mysterious knocking noises, said to emanate from the ghosts of some clansmen who were seeking refuge from their enemies. When admitted to the castle, they were walled up in one of the rooms and simply left to die...One can only presume that the knocking noises are their vain attempts to free themslves..
Of course all of the castle is not gloomy and haunted, it is very large and there are a lot of rooms! It is also magnificent, as would be expected of the home of The Queen's Mother. This is the stately drawing room.
And this is a very grand dining room..
Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, otherwise known as The Queen Mother, spent her childhood and many happy times here...this is her on her Wedding Day..how lovely!...
Besides the architecture, suits of armour, history and the overall awe of being there, Glamis also has on display many magnificent paintings including this one of the 3rd Earl of Strathmore with his sons, John, Charles, and Patrick, by Jacob de Wet and painted in 1683
This is a portrait of the Queen Mother when she was young and beautiful
This is another exquisite painting by Jacob de Wet which is hung in the chapel
Outside Glamis you have a chance to see the gardens and they are as enchanting as the inside. In spring the mile long driveway is lined with daffodils. The Italian gardens are perfectly manicured.
These are more of the formal gardens...
There are always Highland Cattle wandering around in the grounds..This is a picture of a particularly appealing chubby one! They are known at Glamis as "Highlanders"!
There are many lovely walks in the grounds..I particularly like the pinetum..or collection of carefully chosen pine trees
There is also a memorial to the late Princess Margaret in the grounds..
I know you will be delighted by Glamis Castle, its grounds, history and hauntings. It is open for you to visit from 15th March, 2008 and on the second Sunday in June, the Strathmore Highland Games are held there, where you can see Highland dancing, piping, tossing the caber and various other enjoyable Scottish events..
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