Friday, 6 June 2008

Drumlanrig Castle

Drumlanrig Castle

This castle is different from the other castles previously mentioned in this blog, as it is neither a ruin nor a hotel, it is one of the homes of the Duke of Buccleuch & Queensberry.

When one enters the Castle it is advisable to use the services of one of the excellent guides, to learn all about the history of this beautiful home.

Constructed at the end of the 17th century, it is built of local pink sandstone. The families associated with the Castle are Montagu, Douglas, and Scott. The Douglas family had an association with the area dating back to the 14 century.

The Castle houses an eminent Art Collection. One can see paintings by such well known artists as Rembrandt, Holbein, Gainsborough........and more. There was also a painting by Leonardo da Vinci, Madonna and the Yarnwinder, which was stolen in 2003. In October last year it was recovered, but when I visited the Castle last month it was still not on display again. Sadly the previous Duke died last year only a few weeks before the painting was recovered.

Although there are many very grand and valuable items in the Castle, the overall impression one gets is of a family home with lots of family photographs and nick nacks on display.

The former stable block has been turned into artists workshops, and one can hire bicycles from the Bicycle Museum also in this block. This is appropriate to the area as only a few miles from Drumlanrig, the first bicycle was invented.

The grounds are vast, there are walks, a children's adventure area which can keep the youngsters occupied for hours, and if one is lucky in the summer months there will be falconry displays, Country Fairs, Carriage Races and all manner of activities to get involved in.

This Castle is in the North West of Dumfries & Galloway, near to the village of Thornhill.

As previously mentioned I was at Drumlanrig last month showing a Swedish Guest around the area. On returning to Sweden this friend sent me a gift by way of thanks. I immediately wrote back thanking her, and in this very SMALL world where we live I discovered a few days ago that the person who delivered my Thankyou letter to her was, in fact, my NEPHEW!!!! who had just got work with the Swedish postal service.

Scott Tartan

Black Douglas Tartan

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