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Program 106

Glamis Castle

Angus, ScotlandHighlightsLocation

Located about 10 miles north of Dundee in Scotland, Glamis Castle is best known for both its legendary association with Shakespeare's Macbeth and as the childhood home of Great Britain's late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.

The entire Glamis estate currently occupies 13,500 acres of land, comprising farmland, hill grazing and moorland, amenity woodland, commercial woodland, the castle, and much of Glamis Village.

The earliest records reveal that the castle was originally built as a royal hunting lodge owned by the Scottish crown. And although her family have lived their since 1372, contrary to popular belief, Glamis Castle was never under the personal ownership of the Queen Mother. Rather, because it has always been passed down through the male line, it was the eldest of the Queen Mother's brothers who inherited the earldom — and thus the castle — on the death of their father, the 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kingdoms.

There are now two wings linked by a central L-shaped tower. The Lyon family began construction of the castle as it is today around 1400. The east wing dates from 1400, the L-shaped tower from 1440, and the west wing from the late 17th century. By the early 15th century, the outbuildings had become more substantial and the main building had been built by the 2nd earl. It is now the east wing of the castle. In 1435, the main tower was added to the east wing and the castle was enclosed within a fortified court. By the end of the 17th century, the 3rd earl had renovated the castle, adding the west wing and a small northeast wing containing the chapel. He replaced the courtyard building and much of the fortifications with a baroque setting of courts, sculptures, and vistas. The De'ils Gates were built in 1680 at the end of the main avenue to the 3rd earl's own design. In 1773, new kitchens, the billiard room, and new service courtyards were added by the 9th earl. Two years later, he demolished the west wing and began landscaping the grounds into open parklands. This included pulling down the garden walls in front of the castle and relocating the De'ils Gates to the castle borders where they stand today. Around 1800, the west wing was reconstructed to match the east wing.

Indeed, Glamis Castle has been adapted and added to throughout the many centuries it has seen. Charles, the 13th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, grandfather of the Queen Mother, modernized the castle and transformed it into a comfortable home for his family. Gas was introduced in 1865, later replaced by electricity in 1929. Running water was installed the same year with central heating following the next year. And likewise, Glamis Castle continues to evolve today with its caretakers and occupants, Michael, the 18th earl, his wife, and their children.

To learn more about Glasmis Castle, visit:


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