Places to Visit
- Glamis Castle, Angus
Located just over five miles south of the town of Forfar in Angus and looking like a Walt Disney icing-sugar encrusted fairy-tale, Glamis Castle was originally a 14th century keep which has been extended extensively over the years. King Malcolm II is reputed to have died in the castle, though not in the room which is currently named after him.
In the 15th century, the lands were held by Sir John Lyon, Chancellor of Scotland who married the daughter of King Robert II>. The castle is still held by the Lyon family, now elevated to the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne. The 9th Earl became a Bowes-Lyon when he married a Yorkshire heiress. Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother> comes from this family.
The castle has the reputation of being the most haunted in Britain, including "Earl Beardie", the 4th Earl of Crawford who is said to have played cards with the Devil in a walled-up room. Visitors to the castle are given an escorted tour round many of the sumptuous apartments, including the dining room (lined with portraits of the Strathmores), the crypt, the magnificent drawing room, the private chapel with painted ceiling and the sitting room used by the Queen Mother. Unfortunately, as in so many such buildings (Scone Palace is an honourable exception) no photography is allowed in the private apartments.
There is a large park, nature trail, an Italian garden (pictured above), a walled garden and statues of Kings James VI and Charles I still survive. In addition to the castle, there are exhibition rooms (where there appears to be no restriction on photography), four shops and a restaurant. Indeed, while the front of the castle still looks splendid, the rear of the building has been commercialised and looks decidedly "tatty".
Nearby, the Angus Folk Museum in Glamis village is a less opulent but nevertheless an interesting attraction. There is a Pictish cross-slab in Glamis village manse called "King Malcolm's Stone".
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