Glamis Castle

Castle, Country House, Hospital (first World War), Tower House

Site Name Glamis Castle

Classification Castle, Country House, Hospital (first World War), Tower House

Alternative Name(s) Glamis Castle Policies; Glamis Castle Auxiliary Hospital

Canmore ID 32055

Site Number NO34NE 1

NGR NO 38586 48054

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Ordnance Survey licence number 100020548. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Angus
  • Parish Glamis
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Angus
  • Former County Angus

Archaeology Notes

NO34NE 1.00 38586 48054

NO34NE 1.01 NO 386 480 Gardens; Sundials

NO34NE 1.02 NO 38894 47611 Ice House

NO34NE 1.03 NO 3782 4798 Ice House

NO34NE 1.04 NO 38185 46697 Main Gate and South Lodge

NO34NE 1.05 NO 37784 48115 Gladiator Gate and North Lodge

NO34NE 1.06 NO 38616 46908 Kirk Gate

NO34NE 1.07 NO 38407 47286 Dovecot

NO34NE 1.08 NO 38665 47942 East Tower

NO34NE 1.09 NO 38477 47984 West Tower

NO34NE 1.10 NO 38578 47942 Statue of King Charles I

NO34NE 1.11 NO 38562 47946 Statue of King James VI

NO34NE 1.12 Centred NO 38631 48036 Dutch Garden

NO34NE 1.13 NO 38872 48179 Urn (E)

NO34NE 1.14 Centred NO 38540 47941 Ha-ha

NO34NE 1.15 Centred NO 38779 48094 Italian Garden

NO34NE 1.16 Centred NO 38804 48587 Walled Garden

NO34NE 1.17 NO 38305 48013 Earl John Bridge

NO34NE 1.18 NO 38868 48485 Earl Michael's Bridge (Garden Bridge)

NO34NE 1.19 NO 38921 47876 Mains Bridge (East Bridge)

NO34NE 1.20 NO 38666 48455 North Bridge

NO34NE 1.21 NO 38688 48122 Game Larder

NO34NE 1.22 NO 38688 48601 Garden House

NO34NE 1.23 NO 38216 48511 The Warren

NO34NE 1.24 NO 38115 48469 The Parsonage

NO34NE 1.25 NO 3863 4804 (Terrace) Fountain

NO34NE 1.26 NO 3863 4799 Sundial

NO34NE 1.27 NO 38838 48035 Urn (SE)

NO34NE 1.28 NO 38447 47987 Lion Statue (W)

NO34NE 1.29 NO 38831 47903 Lion Statue (E)

For Mains of Glamis steading (NO 3935 4757) and cottages (NO 3944 4775), see NO34NE 72.00 and NO34NE 72.01 respectively. For Glamis House (NO 3800 4690) and Lodge (NO 3811 4694), see NO34NE 78.00 and NO34NE 78.01 respectively.

(NO 3860 4806) Glamis Castle (NR)

(NO 3847 4797) West Tower (NR)

(NO 3866 4794) East Tower (NR)

OS 6" map, (1959)

Glamis Castle: There was a castle on this site in 1376, when it was granted by Robert I to John Lyon, Lord Glamis, who reconstructed the castle about then. The L-plan tower, which is the earliest part of the present building, dates from this period (early 15th century). Of the outer defences, only two wall towers remain. There were also three ditches surrounding the castle, but they were filled up in the 17th century (A Jervise 1861) when considerable changes were made. The central stairway was built then as well as the upper parts of the tower above the 4th storey. The W wing was also added, and rebuilt c. 1800. The E wing is mainly 17th century, but incorporates much earlier walls. Residential quarters extending E from the tower date mainly from the 19th century.

S Toy 1966; D MacGibbon and T Ross 1887-92; A Jervise 1861.

Glamis Castle is as described above and in an excellent state of preservation. The NW wing is modern although of 17th century style; the estate factor states it was rebuilt after being destroyed by fire c. 1806). The SE wing is of 17th century date, but has a modern roof and parapet. Central stair tower and roof features of the keep are all of 17th c date. The rest of the mansion is modern.

The two enceinte towers in front of the castle each measure 7.0m in diameter and c. 4.0m in height, each with a modern parapet. The walls are 1.0m thick and give no indication of where the enceinte joined them.

Visited by OS (W D J) 16 December 1969.

NO 386 481 An archaeological watching brief was carried out in July 2002 during topsoil stripping for the construction of a new retail pavilion at Glamis Castle. An initial phase of watching brief on the stripping of an access road on the N side of the proposed new build identified a deposit containing glass, iron slag and pottery, and possibly two ditches.

Foundations and rubble spreads were uncovered on the site of the new build building. Salvage excavation revealed the foundations of a small building and part of another, walls and a metalled surface. An abundance of 18th-century glass bottle fragments were found as well as 19th-century pottery sherds. The buildings were considered to represent outbuildings (gate houses) and a roadway leading to a courtyard associated with 18th-century landscaping around the castle. These features are shown on a plan of the castle and its policies dated 1746. Pits and a stone-built drain were recorded during a subsequent watching brief.

Archive to be deposited in the NMRS.

Sponsor: Strathmore Estates.

R Cachart 2002

NO 386 480 An archaeological watching brief was carried out, between 5th - 16th February 2007, during the soil strip for a new approach road. The new approach road runs from the W end of Main Street and heads N in a direct line to the castle. From Main Street it extends for c.120m where it joins the existing tree-lined approach to the castle.

Although no archaeological features were uncovered during the soil strip, the finds of medieval and late medieval pottery and a bronze cooking pot are indications that there was activity in this part of the village of Glamis from as early as the 13th century. The distribution of the finds also shows that the earlier pottery was located between 90m and 110m N of the village while the later pottery and the bronze vessel were in closer proximity to the village main street.

Sponsor: James F Stephen, Architects, on behalf of Strathmore Estates (Holding) Ltd.

J C Murray, 2007.

Architecture Notes

OWNER: Earl of Strathmore

16th Century castle. 17th Century lodge.


National Library:

Country Life 31st July 1928 p.60

Mitchell Library:

Annan Vol. (2-58) nos 38, 39, 40


Photocopy of the original letter in the National Library of Scotland (Acc 4796 F 1/48) from Sir William Forbes (Aberdeen) to his son William Forbes, banker, Edinburgh, 27th June 1802, concerning the castle and grounds. Also refers to the making of the garden at Brechin Castle.


Glamis Castle Drawings

NMRS Photographic Survey of drawings held at Glamis Castle including plans for alterations 1868; new bridge designed by D Waterston, Architect 1898; designs for additions 1873; drawings for restoration after fire by D Waterston 1924; design for a Baronial Lodge (Wardrop and Reid?); Survey Plan (MacGibbon and Ross, 1887); design for a gateway 1880; Elevation of an Adamesque door (at 20 St James' Square); design for sideboard and recess in Dining Room, 1852; design for Great Hall fireplace by Arthur Castings; late 18th century designs for additions; design for formal gardens by Arthur Castings and associated garden buildings; survey plan of 'Woodlands at Glamis', 1810; Survey plan with pictorial borders depicting the castle and garden buildings by James Winter, 1746; design for a landscape garden by James Abercrombie Junior, 1768; survey plan of park by John Blackadder and Son, 1810 and a design for a semi-circular court of offices at Glamis attributed to the Adam office mid 18th century.


Glamis Castle Drawings copied by NMRS :

A second batch of Glamis Drawings copied in May 1992. The numbering system is that of the existing Inventory ('P' series. Designs for gardens not numbered in 'P' series'). The drawings were copied selectively. The very large size ones comprise the third batch and may be photographed out of sequence. The drawings are held in the Muniment Room at Glamis. Permission to reproduce from Earl of Strathmore.


Glamis- St Michael's and All Angels Episcopal Church.

Private chapel to the Earl of Strathmore. Paintings on roof of Our Lord's Life, Apostles and altar piece by Van de Witt.

Chapel located in NE corner wing, added 1679-83 and restored 1866.


Scottish National Portrait Gallery:

SMT magazine June 1950 - photographs and article

SMT magazine Coronation Annual 1953- photographs and article

SMT magazine July 1928 p.60 - photographs


NMRS Library

See copy of letter from Harry Gordon Slade 265/1V/1992 to Helen Smailes SNPG re. Liddel's design of Dining Room and Furniture etc.


O'Brian Sketches. Pencil view 1817. Sketchbook missing at time of upgrade 04.02.04


Project (March 2013 - September 2013)

A project to characterise the quantity and quality of the Scottish resource of known surviving remains of the First World War. Carried out in partnership between Historic Scotland and RCAHMS.


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