Five Tidbits about Glamis Castle

With it’s turrets and stone walls, Glamis fits the bill of a picture perfect fairytale castle. It is located in the valley of Strathmore in Scotland and has an extraordinary amount of history. Here are a few of the most interesting tidbits about this famous castle.

5.  The first castle at Glamis was completed in 1376. Prior to that, a hunting lodge and other buildings were located on the land. The new castle was home to Sir John Lyon, Thane of Glamis, who had been awarded the estate from the first Stewart King of Scotland, Richard II. Sir John Lyon was a forebear of Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (aka Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother) and the castle has been the seat of the Bowes-Lyon family ever since.

4. Mary Queen of Scots visited the castle for one week in 1562 during a progress to Northern Scotland. There isn’t much further information on this, but it is believed she was on her way to a rebellion. She and her entourage would have taken over the castle and the Earl and his family would have been expected to wine and dine and generally go all out as hosts.

3. According to the Peerage of Scotland, the title Earl of Kinghorne was created in 1606 and bestowed upon Patrick Lyon. The title changed in 1677 to Earl of Kinghorne and Strathmore. The current Earl is the 18th member of the family to hold the title. His name is Michael Fergus Bowes-Lyon (‘Mikey’ to his pals)  and that’s him below outside of a shop he owns in the town of Forfar, not far from the castle.

2. It is believed that Shakespeare wrote the tragedy Macbeth at some point between 1603 and 1607. The title character Macbeth is the Thane of Glamis (the same title Sir John Lyon had) and resides at the castle. It’s interesting that the castle was well known enough at this point for Shakespeare to have written about it. It is possible that he visited Glamis himself, though that has never been confirmed.

1. Despite many reports to the contrary, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon was not born at the Castle. In 1900 when she was born (possible at her family’s home in London) her father was the heir to the earldom and her paternal grandparents, the 13th Earl and Countess, still lived at Glamis.  Elizabeth’s father inherited the title when she was four (at which point she went from being an Honourable to a Lady) and so she spent her childhood there. That’s her on the castle grounds as a wee tot:

The estate makes up 14,000 acres so there was plenty of space to run around!

Her daughter Princess Margaret was born at the castle in 1930 during a stormy summer night. To top it all of, she was the first royal to be born in Scotland since 1600.

Check out the official castle website by clicking here.


Categories: British Royal Family


1 reply


  1. Christmas Letters from Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon Written From 1910 – 1921 | The Royal Post

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