Glamis Castle

castle in Angus, Scotland, UK

Glamis Castle is one of the most famous castles in the United Kingdom.[1] It is near the village of Glamis, in Angus, Scotland. It is the home of the Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne. Glamis Castle was the childhood home of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, best known as the Queen Mother. Her daughter, Princess Margaret, was born there. A picture of the castle is featured on the Royal Bank of Scotland ten pound note.

Glamis Castle

Parts of the castle and its gardens are open to the public. There is also a tea room for visitors.

There are many famous stories and legends about Glamis Castle.



Glamis Castle is set in the wide valley of Strathmore, near Forfar, the capital of Angus. It is between the Sidlaw Hills to the south and the Grampian Mountains to the north, about 12 miles (20 kilometres) from the North Sea.

The estate (the castle's land) covers more than 14,000 acres (57 km²). There are gardens and walking trails, as well as a farm which produces beef and a plantation (planted forest) which produces timber. There are two streams run through the estate. Near one stream, called the Glamis Burn is an arboretum (a tree garden) which has trees from all over the world, many of them rare and several hundred years old. Birds and other small wildlife can often be seen in the grounds.

History, legends and tales

Glamis Castle in the snow, circa 1880
  • People have lived in the area of Glamis Castle since Prehistoric times, and signs of these people can sometimes be found.
  • A stone with richly carved decoration was found in a creek-bed nearby. It is known as the Eassie Stone and it is believed to date from about 600 AD.[2]
  • In 1034, Malcolm II of Scotland was murdered at Glamis.[3] On the official website of Glamis castle, it says that in 1034 King Malcolm II was wounded in a battle and was taken to a Royal Hunting Lodge, where he died. Later, the castle was built where the Hunting Lodge had been.
  • Since 1372 Glamis Castle was home to the Lords of Glamis.[4]
  • The most famous legend is that of the Monster of Glamis. The Monster was a very ugly disabled child who was kept hidden in the castle all his life. It is said that his rooms were bricked up after his death.
  • A different version of the legend is that in every generation of the family, a vampire child is born. The vampire children are walled up in that room.
  • The legend of the monster may have come from the true story of the Ogilvie family. The Ogilvie family hid at Glamis Castle when they were trying to escape from their enemies, the Lindsays. But they were found, and put into a small room in the walls, which are 16 feet thick. The door was bricked up and the family were left to die of starvation.
  • There is a story that some visitors who were staying at the Castle tried to find the hidden rooms. They hung towels from the windows of every room that they could find. Then they went outside and looked up. They could see some windows that had no towels. They thought that these must be the windows of the hidden rooms.
  • Another legend tells that the monster is in Loch Calder near the castle.
  • There is a small chapel in the castle, with seating for 46 people. One seat in the chapel is always kept empty for a ghost called the "Grey Lady". The "Grey Lady" is thought to be Janet Douglas, Lady Glamis. No one is allowed to sit in that seat.[5]
  • The legend of Earl Beardie tells about how he played cards with the Devil. The Earl was a guest in Glamis Castle. One night he was drunk and wanted to play cards. It was the Sunday, and no-one else wanted to play because it was a Holy Day. Lord Beardie was so angry that he said that he would play with the Devil himself. A stranger knocked at the castle door and asked if Lord Beardie would play cards with him. They began to play in one of the rooms. Later, the servants heard yelling and swearing coming from the room. One peeped through the keyhole, but there was a flash of light through the keyhole that blinded him. The stranger had disappeared, and had taken the Earl's soul with him. Many people say that they have heard the shouting and the sound of dice rolling, as the Earl is still playing cards with the Devil.[5]

Glamis in fiction



  1. The word Glamis is pronounced like "Glarms".
  2. C.Michael Hogan, Eassie Stone, The Megalithic Portal, ed. Andy Burnham, Oct. 7, 2007
  3. Black's Picturesque Tourist of Scotland, Adam and Charles Black, Edinburgh 1861.
  4. Tayside Village Walks
  5. 5.0 5.1 ""Myths and Legends"". Archived from the original on 2008-05-10. Retrieved 2008-05-18.

Other websites


56°37′11″N 3°00′09″W / 56.61972°N 3.00250°W / 56.61972; -3.00250