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View of principal staircase at Drumlanrig Castle from South West

SC 764690

Description View of principal staircase at Drumlanrig Castle from South West

Date 16/11/1998

Collection RCAHMS

Catalogue Number SC 764690

Category On-line Digital Images

Copy of D 41654 CN

Scope and Content Main Staircase, Drumlanrig Castle, Dumfries & Galloway This oak open-well staircase, with simple twisted wooden balusters and a heavy twisted newel post, leads to the first floor of the house. It was completed in 1697, and was one of the first of its kind in Scotland. The walls of the stair hall are lined with oak panelling, and adorned with elaborate giltwood candle scones in the style of the 18th-century furniture designer, Thomas Chippendale. The full-length portraits in the upper gallery are mostly by Sir Godfrey Kneller (1646-1723), and include James Douglas, 2nd Duke of Queensberry (right), and Queen Anne (left), a portrait she presented to the 2nd Duke in recognition of his services to the Crown. The paintings in the ground-floor hall include Leonardo da Vinci's 'Madonna with the Yarnwinder' (right of newel post), painted c.1505 and one of the most notable paintings in the Drumlanrig collection. This staircase was built as the state stair which led to the great state apartments on the first floor. Before its construction, access was only by the stair-towers in the re-entrant angles of the courtyard. The stair was constructed for James Douglas, the 2nd Duke, who succeeded his father, the 1st Duke, on his death in 1695. James was made Secretary of State on the succession of Queen Anne to the throne in 1702, and became known as the 'Union Duke' because of his rôle in the Treaty of Union between Scotland and England in 1707. As a token of her approval, Queen Anne created him Marquess of Beverley and Duke of Dover. Drumlanrig Castle, one of the great Renaissance courtyard houses of Scottish domestic architecture, was built between 1679 and 1690 for William Douglas, 1st Duke of Queensberry, on the site of a late 14th-century Douglas stronghold. The castle passed to the Dukes of Buccleuch in 1810, and is now the home of the 9th Duke (11th Duke of Queensberry). It houses many great family treasures and important works of art, including magnificent carvings and a fine collection of paintings. Source: RCAHMS contribution to SCRAN.


File Format (TIF) Tagged Image File Format bitmap

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