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The stunning Glamis Castle is the legendary setting for Shakespeare’s Macbeth

Marija Georgievska

Situated close to the village of Glamis, since 1372, Glamis Castle has been home to the Earl of Strathmore. There are many stories and legends surrounding it, and it is reputed as one of the most haunted places in the British Isles.

This family house was the childhood home of King George VI’s wife Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother and it is the birthplace of Princess Margaret. However, it is probably most famous for being the setting of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

Glamis Castle Photo Credit

Glamis Castle Photo Credit

 

It is the setting of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Photo Credit

It is the setting of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Photo Credit

 

It remains in the Lyons family today. Photo Credit

It remains in the Lyons family today. Photo Credit

The site of the castle has traces of ancient civilizations – the most surprising discovery was the Eassie Stone, a Pictish carved stone found near the village of Eassie. In the play Macbeth, Glamis is the residence of the titular character, but in reality, there are no connections between the historical figure King Macbeth and the castle. In the 14th century, King Robert II of Scotland granted the building to his son-in-law Sir John Lyon.

It remained in the Lyons family, and it was rebuilt between the 15th and 20th centuries. Later, the title of Lord Glamis was created for Sir Patrick Lyon, the grandson of Sir John. The wife of the Scottish noblewoman Janet Douglas was accused of treason in 1528 because she brought people to Edinburgh that supported the Earl of Angus, a political enemy of King James V.

The Italian Baroque garden Photo Credit

The Italian Baroque garden Photo Credit

 

 

Detail of the garden  Photo Credit

Detail of the garden  Photo Credit

 

The west tower of the castle Photo Credit

The west tower of the castle Photo Credit

Accused of witchcraft, poisoning her husband, and conspiring to murder the king, she was burned at stake at Edinburgh Castle on 17 July 1537. In the 17th century, the castle was the home of Patrick Lyon. He made many renovations to the house and created a Baroque garden. In 1767, John Lyon, the 9th Earl of Strathmore, improved the grounds of the house in the picturesque style.

In the 19th century, the southwest wing of the castle had to be rebuilt because of damage caused by a fire. Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon lived in the castle in the 1900s. At that time, the castle was used as a military hospital to treat soldiers injured in WWI. Today, the castle is the home of Simon Bowes-Lyon, the 19th Earl of Kinghorne and Strathmore.

Gate to a walled garden at the castle. Photo Credit

Gate to a walled garden at the castle. Photo Credit

Of all the many stories and legends about the castle, perhaps the most famous is the Monster of Glamis. It is said that the monster was a deformed child that born into the family and kept in the castle. The Ogilvy family inspired this legend. Members of the Ogilvy Clan were hiding from their enemies the Lindsays in Glamis Castle’s famous room of skulls.

Read another story from us: Archaeologists use ground-penetrating radar to discover the truth behind a legend about Shakespeare

The whole room was walled up, and it is believed that they died from starvation. According to Wikipedia, today, the grounds of the castle are included in the national listing of significant gardens and the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland. The castle is protected as a category A listed building.