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Drumlanrig Castle, Gardens & Country Park

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Drumlanrig Castle, Gardens & Country Park Summary


Drumlanrig Castle, Gardens & Country Park Description

The association of the Douglas family with Drumlanrig is a lengthy one, dating back to the 14th Century when William, the son of James, 2nd Earl of Drumlanrig became 1st Laird of Drumlanrig. In or before 1388, when James, 2nd Earl of Douglas and Mar, died at the Battle of Otterburn, it passed to his son William Douglas, who became 1st Laird of Drumlanrig however, that was all that came to William from his father's vast territories. The rest, together with the titles, went to Archibald, son of Sir James, known to history as "The Black Douglas', the friend of Robert the Bruce.

This enforced removal from the territorial struggles of the great feudal magnates helps perhaps to account for the fact that from 1388 this Drumlanrig line of the Douglases succeeded each other, father to son, for thirteen generations down to the death of Charles, 3rd Duke of Queensberry, in 1778. William, 3rd Earl of Queensberry, who built the present Drumlanrig, was born in 1637; in November 1684 he was created first Duke of Queensberry.

He died in 1695 and was succeeded by his son, James. He was a firm supporter of William of Orange and Queen Anne, but was more than a courtier; he was a man of considerable ability who saw the potential advantages for Scotland and made the most of his position as High Commissioner.

Charles, the 3rd Duke, who succeeded his father in 1711, seems to have been of a sympathetic and cultured nature. On his death in 1778 the title passed to his cousin William, Earl of March, the infamous "Old Q" who led a dissolute life in London at the expense of his Scottish estates. It was thus particularly unfortunate that he lived to the great age of 85, dying only in 1810 without even leaving an heir. The remnant of his fortune passed to his illegitimate daughter and financed what is now known as the Wallace Collection in London.

Henry Scott, 3rd Duke of Buccleuch succeeded to the Dukedom of Queensberry and most of the lands through his grandmother Jane Douglas, daughter of the 1st Duke, who married Francis, 2nd Duke of Buccleuch. Some of the titles which could only pass through the male line, such as those of Marquis of Queensberry and others associated with Drumlanrig, passed to a more distant relation, Sir Charles Douglas of Kelhead. It was fortunate that Duke Henry's public spirited grandson, Walter Francis, 5th Duke of Buccleuch and 7th of Queensberry, should have been such a vigorous agriculturist with a keenly developed economic sense, for he embarked on an ambitious programme of replanting woodlands devastated by "Old Q", and modernising farmsteads. Thanks to him and to subsequent Dukes, Drumlanrig continues as the nucleus of a thriving rural estate.

The contents of the Castle have, however, been greatly enriched by the merger of the three families, of Montagu, Douglas and Scott in the 18th Century, and the closure of two residences, Montagu House and Dalkeith Palace in the 20th Century. Drumlanrig's builder, William, the 1st Duke of Queensberry, might well have felt happier about his investment had he been able to visualise the striking contribution the Castle now makes to the cultural life of the country.

Art Gallery:

Drumlanrig Castle houses one of the finest private art collections in the United Kingdom.

Built up by the Dukes of Buccleuch and Queensberry, the collection is on display much of the year and visitors to the Castle are afforded the opportunity to view works from this collection during a tour of the principal rooms.

Paintings by Rembrandt, Holbein and Thomas Gainsborough are all on display, as are works by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Caspar Netscher and Van der Neer to name but a few. More information is available on their Website, including a Gallery of some of the most important pictures; a visit to Drumlanrig will allow you time to view these treasures at your leisure.

Opening Times - 2012

Visitors are invited to join the regular guided tours which will be organised each day throughout the open season.

NB: As a condition of entry, all visitors to the Castle will now be asked to sign a visitor book which will allow them to be recorded on closed circuit cameras. Such information and images will not be distributed to any other party except in the event of a criminal occurrence when the recorded data could be handed to the police. It is trusted this will not detract from the enjoyment of your visit to this beautiful family home.

Castle & Tearoom:

  • 31st March - 3oth September (inclusive): daily, 11 am - 4 pm (last entry)

Gardens & Country Park:

  • 31st March - 30th September (inclusive): daily, 10 am - 5 pm

Party Bookings:

  • Drumlanrig Castle and Buccleuch Estates welcome party bookings from Schools and other Groups
  • Please enquire for details

Admissions Prices - 2012:

Castle, Gardens & Parkland:

  • Adult - £10.00
  • Child (3-16 years) - £6.00
  • Seniors - £8.00
  • Family (2+3) - £28.00

Gardens & Parkland only:

  • Adult - £6.00
  • Seniors - £4.50
  • Child (3-16 years) - £3.50
  • Family (2+3) - £16.00

Pre-booked Groups welcome, discounts available, please contact for details.

Season Ticket (Gardens only):

  • Family - £50.00
  • Individual - £20.00

The Country Park:

The Country Park provides visitors an opportunity to enjoy the Buccleuch Countryside directly surrounding Drumlanrig Castle. Waymarked Walks, Cycle Routes and a Visitor Centre are provided for visitor enjoyment by the Ranger Service which operates from the Stable Yard adjacent to the Castle. The Farmland, Woodlands, Lochs and Rivers around the Castle provide suitable habitats for a wide variety of wildlife. Red Squirrels are abundant, otters regularly use the rivers and lochs to feed and a walk or cycle through the woods will highlight the varied birdlife to be found here.

Further information including opening times and prices

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Additional Info for Drumlanrig Castle, Gardens & Country Park

  • YesParks
  • YesGardens
  • YesPlaygrounds
  • YesDogs allowed
  • YesDisabled Access
  • YesEducation
  • YesRefreshments
  • YesPicnics
  • YesGuides
  • YesMeals Available
  • YesFilming
  • YesGifts
  • YesShop
  • YesCar Parking

Heritage Groups

  • YesHistoric Houses Association

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