Glamis Castle has been the ancestral seat of the Lyon family since 1372 when King Robert II granted the thanage of Glamis to Sir John Lyon.
Four years later Sir John married the King’s daughter, Princess Johanna Stewart.
Four years later Sir John married the King’s daughter, Princess Johanna Stewart. In the 1400s on the site previously used as a royal hunting lodge, the 2nd Lord Glamis began work on building an enormous detached L-Tower of three floors, all of which were vaulted.
In 1603 the 9th Lord Glamis (who become the 1st Earl of Kinghorne in 1606) began the transformation of the L-Tower into a Renaissance Palace, marked by two further floors of chambers and galleries, a magnificent stair tower and impressive roof-line.
Patrick (the 3rd Earl of Kinghorne, who became 1st Earl of Strathmore in 1677, and was henceforth referred to as Patrick, 3rd Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne), began the transformation of the medieval castle into a symmetrical and castellated mansion in the architectural style of baronial baroque, and the west wing and NE wing (Chapel) were built in the late 17th century.
He also set the Castle in a complex of formal gardens, erected the impressive 21-foot-high sundial, and laid out the main avenue at 45 degrees to the Castle.
An innovative Macbeth Sculpture Trail has been installed at the Pinetum in the castle grounds, featuring seven wooden sculptures by Neith Art & Sculpture, fashioned out of wood procured from the estate.
Claude, the 13th Earl, modernised the Castle, introducing gas and running water in 1865, and central heating the following year.
Gas was replaced by electricity in 1929. The 13th Earl also built a 5-acre Walled Garden in 1866 to provide fruit, vegetables, and flowers for the Castle, and he created the Dutch Garden in 1893 to designs by Arthur Castings.
The Italian Garden to the east of the castle was laid out by Countess Cecilia, wife of the 14th Earl, c.1910 also with the help of designs by Castings.
HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother (daughter of the 14th Earl) spent much of her childhood here and her younger daughter, HRH Princess Margaret was born at Glamis in 1930. The castle also has a literary connection with Shakespeare’s play Macbeth.
Timothy, the 16th Earl, opened the Castle to visitors in 1950.
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