Tuesday 20 November 2012

An Appreciation of Old Scottish Country Homes and Castles (Part Nine)

This is the ninth part of my gallery celebrating Scottish stately homes and castles. The images in this gallery were taken during the Edwardian period and are from my own family collection. I have attempted to provide a history of each home or castle however the fact that many such old homes are in ruinous, vacant or no longer exist is to be regretted. The loss of any historic building is indeed unfortunate so this gallery also serves as a celebration of this lost heritage and the various families over the centuries who built and owned these fascinating properties.

Drumlanrig Castle, pre 1905 

Drumlanrig Castle is an imposing late Stuart Baroque home near Thornhill in Dumfriesshire. The Barony of Drumlanrig was originally a property of the Earls of Mar whose heiress married the 1st Earl of Douglas. By the end of the 14th century the Douglas family had grown into a powerful Lowland dynasty with extensive landholdings. The present Drumlanrig Castle shows traces of an earlier Douglas family stronghold on the site dating from the 14th and 15th centuries. William Lukup, Master of Works at Drumlanrig, oversaw the rebuilding which took place between 1679 and 1689. The plans were most likely drawn up earlier in the 17th century by Robert Mylne, the King's Master Mason, and his son-in-law, James Smith, hence the slightly outdated style of architecture. The cladding is of local pink sandstone with lead roofing, and constructed round an open courtyard. Towers, Corinthian pilasters, a horseshoe staircase, and a Ducal coronet are among a few of the interesting architectural features. The interior contains some fine woodwork including by Grinling Gibbons. While some rebuilding and renovation has taken place many 17th century features remain. The magnificent Great Avenue leading up to the castle, provides a breath-taking view of the park like lands surrounding the castle.

The fabulous treasures contained within the castle were further enhanced with the transfer of many valuable objects from the other family seats of Dalkeith Palace near Edinburgh (which closed in 1914) and Montagu House in London (which closed in 1917). The castle happily remains in the ownership of the Dukes of Buccleugh and Queensberry, being direct descendants of the original Douglas family.  

For some up to date exterior photos of Drumlanrig Castle, including the Gardens and Scottish Cycle Museum, refer to BikELove-Scotland.

Gartincaber House, Kilmadock, pre 1905

Gartincaber House is a "B" grade listed building at Kilmadock in Stirling. It consists of a part 3-story 17th century building with curious sculptured and inscribed dormer windows bearing legends in relief, and includes 18th century alterations and additions. A large Gothic balconied window was added in 1820 with a further addition in 1843. The interior of the home is recorded as being "of interest". From the time it was built ownership had been in the Murdoch family. In 1799 William Murdoch built the nearby but now ruinous Gartincaber Tower as a "folly". John Burn-Murdoch succeeded to the estate in 1871, which comprised of 1540 acres in the shire valued at (c.1882-85) £1,791 per annum. Lord and Lady Murdoch were resident to at least 1960 but one record states that Gartincaber House has subsequently been sold (pre 2011).

Bibliography :

- Various Internet sources
- All images are from my own collection and may be freely copied provided a link is given back to this page.

Friday 9 November 2012

Remembering The 1901 Royal Visit to Dunedin, New Zealand

HRH, Prince George, The Prince of Wales, as
portrayed at the time of the Coronation of his
Father, King Edward VII, 1902
[from my own collection]

The Royal Visit of HRH Prince Charles, the Duke of Cornwall & HRH Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall to New Zealand put me in mind of the visit of [the then] HRH Prince George, Duke of Cornwall & York and HRH Princess Mary, Duchess of Cornwall & York to my home-town of Dunedin in June 1901.

HRH Princess Mary, The Princess of Wales,
as portrayed at the time of the coronation of
King Edward VII, 1902
[From my own collection]

Created Prince & Princess of Wales in November 1901, both would be crowned King and Queen of Great Britain and her Dominions in 1910. Sadly, this would be their one and only visit to New Zealand.

A mounted miniature on a decorative velour base of
HRH Princess Mary, The Duchess of Cornwall & York.
Taken by Russell & Sons, Photographers, London, c.1893.
[From my own collection]

Arriving in New Zealand on the 11th June 1901 aboard the specially converted Orient Liner 'H.M.S. Ophir', and accompanied by a Naval escort of no less than six British warships, the visit of the Royal couple was primarily to personally thank the country for supporting Britain in her conflict with the Boers in South Africa. The visit had in fact been approved by Queen Victoria not long before her death which occurred on the 22nd January 1901.

A colourful assemblage of flags on a Locomotive
used for the Royal Train, June 1901.
Photo by Albert Percy Godber.
[Source : National Library of New Zealand]

Their visit took in their arrival port of Auckland, thence by railway to the central North Island thermal wonderland of Rotorua, back by railway to Auckland and then a further voyage by the "Ophir" to Wellington.

The Official Government Programme for the
Visit of Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and
Duchess of Cornwall  & York to New Zealand,
June 1901
[Source : National Library of New Zealand]

Thence by the 'HMS Ophir' across Cook Strait to Lyttleton for Christchurch in the South Island and then further south by railway to Dunedin, before returning again by railway to Lyttleton where they departed on the 'HMS Ophir' on the 27th June 1901.

The Lounge Car used for the Royal Train, 1901.
Note the 'homely' fireplace and over-mantel mirror!
The whole car had been specially built for the tour.
[Source : National Library of New Zealand]

Their visit to New Zealand met with rapturous welcomes and a heartfelt outpouring of loyalty to Britain and the Empire. Large crowds flocked to every vantage point in cities and along Railway lines to catch even a fleeting glimpse of the Royal couple.

A modern view of the Fernhill Club Dunedin, the Dunedin Residence
of Their Royal Highnesses the Duke & Duchess of Cornwall and York,
Dunedin June 1901.

No less that 900 men guarded the line between Christchurch and Dunedin. Upon the arrival of the Royal Party at Dunedin Railway Station, on time, at 6pm on the evening of the 25th June 1901 loud cheers broke out and bands played the National Anthem.

The Royal Drawing Room at the Fernhill Club, Dunedin, 1901
[Source : Matapihi]

The Duke then inspected the Dunedin Naval Cadets who formed the guard of honour. Thereafter the Royal Party were driven past cheering crowds to the Fernhill Club, the Otago Hussars and Mounted Rifles contingents forming the escort and guard of honour whilst bands played along the route. The Octagon through which the party passed, and the four ceremonial arches spanning the route, were ablaze with electric light. These comprised of a Government, a City, a Suburban, and a novel Chinese arch. At night the Octagon was a “scene of great beauty” with illuminated decorations, and the evening was rounded off with a great fireworks display.

HRH Princess Mary's Stateroom at the Fernhill Club, Dunedin 1901
[Source : Matapihi]

That evening His Excellency Lord Ranfurly, the Governor of New Zealand, and the Countess of Ranfurly, hosted a State Dinner for the Royal Party and invited guests, including the Prime Minister, the Honourable Richard Seddon, at the Fernhill Club.  While resident at Fernhill the Royal Standard flew from the flag pole.

HRH Prince George's Stateroom at the Fernhill Club, Dunedin 1901
[Source : Matapihi]

During the evening, the Dunedin Liedertafel Group serenaded the Duke & Duchess, whereupon the Duke appeared at the window and courteously asked them if they would sing again.

A Colourful Invitation to the Presentation of the Address of Welcome
to Their Royal Highnesses the Duke & Duchess of Cornwall & York
at Dunedin, 25th June 1901.
[Source : National Library of New Zealand] 

At 11.30am the Royal party left the Fernhill Club for the gaily decorated Octagon in the centre of the City where the presentation of addresses was to take place.

HRH The Duke of Cornwall & York replying to the Citizen's Address of
Welcome at the Royal Reception in the Octagon, Dunedin, 26 June 1901.
[Source : The Auckland Weekly News]

The Reception for the Royal Couple in the Octagon,
Dunedin, 26th June 1901
[Source : The Auckland Weekly News]

Thereafter the Duke of Cornwall & York presented war medals to returned South African Troopers while the Duchess presented the South African war medal to Nurse Ross.

HRH The Duke of Cornwall & York on the dais presenting Medals to
returned South African War servicemen, Dunedin 26th June 1901
[Source : The Auckland Weekly News]

A single grainy frame from an extremely rare and historic film showing
the Duke of Cornwall & York presenting Medals to South African War
Servicemen in the Octagon, Dunedin, 26th June 1901.
Click HERE to view the full 1 minute 39 second film.

HRH The Duke of Cornwall & York Inspecting the Military Veterans
at the Royal Reception in the Octagon, Dunedin, 26 June 1901
[Source : The Auckland Weekly News]

A Royal procession then commenced through the City at 12.15pm, the party returning to the Fernhill Club half an hour later.

The NZ Government Royal Reception Arch,
The Octagon, Dunedin, June 1901
[Source : The Auckland Weekly News]

At 2.30pm the Royal Party then proceeded to the Children's Demonstration at the Caledonian Ground where they watched over 2,200 school children undertake various activities including physical drill, 'marching evolutions', wand exercises, and a mass march-past.

Dunedin School children, representing 23 schools, marching past
the Royal Visitors at the Children's demonstration, Caledonian
Grounds, Dunedin, 26th June 1901
[Source : The Auckland Weekly News]

The Royal party then visited the Agricultural & Pastoral Society's Show in the Agricultural Hall thereafter to the Dunedin Horticultural Show in Ross & Glendinning's buildings in High Street before returning to the Fernhill Club. At 9.45pm they returned to the Agricultural Hall for a reception.

HRH The Duke of Cornwall & York Laying the Foundation Stone
for the Memorial to Queen Victoria, Queen's Gardens, Dunedin,
26th June 1901.
[Source : The Auckland Weekly News]

After another night at the Fernhill Club the last official duty for the Royal party was to lay the foundation stone for the Memorial to Her Late Majesty Queen Victoria at "The Triangle" [now known as Queen's Gardens].

A grainy but historic published image of Their
Royal Highnesses, The Duke & Duchess of
Cornwall & York leaving the dais after unveiling
the foundation stone for the monument to
Queen Victoria in Dunedin, June 1901
[Source : 'The Outlook']

Rather touchingly, two children who had "tramped from Invercargill" were presented to their Royal Highnesses and given presents of autographed photographs.

Before his departure the Duke addressed the assembled crowd on behalf of himself and the Duchess :

"...We shall leave this beautiful [and] hospitable island with deep regret and shall go away with the hearty cheers of your people still ringing in our ears, bearing in our hearts grateful and unfading recollections of the happiness experienced at their hands. Kia Ora."

Fortuitously, despite it being winter, the Royal Visit to Dunedin had been accompanied by cold but clear weather.

The completed Statue to Queen Victoria
in Queen's Gardens, Dunedin.
The foundation stone was laid by HRH The Duke of
Cornwall & York on the 27th June 1901.
At rear is the Cenotaph War Memorial.
[Source : Wikipedia Commons]

Thereupon the Royal Party departed for the nearby Railway Station and at 11am took their leave of Dunedin to return north to their ship at the port of Lyttleton. At the personal invitation of the Duchess, the Mayoress of Dunedin, Mrs Denniston, was graciously invited to travel with her on the Royal Train for the long journey north. This would have been considered a great honour. As one of her three Ladies in Waiting had taken a cold in Christchurch and not come south the Duchess may have appreciated some extra - and obviously convivial - company.

The Dining Area on the Royal Train, 1901.
Photo by Albert Percy Godber.
[Source : National Library of New Zealand]

The only resounding criticism of the Royal Visit south was that it had to be curtailed so early in order that the Royal Couple could return to their ship at Lyttleton rather than head south a shorter distance by railway and board the 'HMS Ophir' at Bluff, possibly including a visit to the world famous Milford Sound. A Commodore of the British Royal Navy accompanying the 'HMS Ophir' was widely derided in the press for being afraid of taking his ships "South-about" or "to go through Cook Strait in the dark".

Nevertheless, the visit of the Royal couple to Dunedin and to New Zealand was a resounding success. And moreover, Dunedin was reported to have "proved itself one the most demonstrative of New Zealand cities".

My companion Blog on the 1901 Royal Visit to Auckland using a number of unpublished photographs from my own collection may be viewed Here.

Bibliography :

- The Encyclopedia of New Zealand.
- Nga Whare Matauranga o Tamaki Makaurau
- Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa
- Matapihi

Tuesday 6 November 2012

An Appreciation of old Scottish Country Stately Homes and Castles (Part Eight)

This is the eighth part of my gallery celebrating Scottish stately homes and castles. The images in this gallery were taken during the Edwardian period and are from my own family collection. I have attempted to provide a history of each home or castle however the fact that many such old homes are in ruinous, vacant or no longer exist is to be regretted. The loss of any historic building is indeed unfortunate so this gallery also serves as a celebration of this lost heritage and the various families over the centuries who built and owned these fascinating properties.

The Lee [Lee Castle], Lanark

The Lee at Lanark, also known as Lee Castle, is a category B listed castellated mansion in Auchenglen, South Lanarkshire. The gardens are also classed as significant.

William Locard had been granted the feudal barony of Lee in 1272. A descendant, Sir William Lockhart of Lee (1621 -1675) fought for the Royalist cause in the English Civil War, but switched sides, and later married the niece of Oliver Cromwell. In 1652 Lockhart was appointed Cromwell's Commissioner for the Administration of Justice in Scotland, also serving in 1656 as English Ambassador at the French court. His son and heir, Sir George Lockhart of Lee (1673–1731), acted as a Commissioner for the Act of Union between England and Scotland in 1707, but later adopted the Jacobite cause. He was involved in the Jacobite Rising of 1715 but escaped serious punishment. George's grandson, another George, fought with the Jacobites in the 1745 Rising, being later forced into exile. The property then came into the hands of a younger brother, James (who had been made a Count of the Holy Roman Empire in 1782), after staging the death of his traitorous older brother. His successor, Alexander Lockhart Lee, a member of Parliament for Berwick-upon-Tweed, was made first Baronet in 1806.

While a house existed at The Lee, the form at this time is unknown. The 2nd Baronet, Sir Charles Lockhart (1799–1832) built a new house at Lee in 1817, but shortly after his death the 3rd Baronet, Sir Norman Lockhart (1802–1849), commissioned the Architect James Gillespie Graham to design a much larger house. Work began in 1834, incorporating the earlier building, and continued until 1845. In 1919 the Baronetcy became extinct. A kinsman of the Lockhart family (who then changed his name to Lockhart) inherited the house and estate in 1948 but later sold the house and Barony of Lee to a Mr Alvis in 1978, apparently to pay increased taxation. The house and Title were then sold to a Canadian, Mr Leslie Peters. Shortly after moving in a disastrous fire caused much damage but was fully restored using traditional materials and craftsmanship. After Mr Peters died in 2002 the house, along with 260 acres, were sold in 2003 to an American, Mr Addison McElroy Fischer, who is now titled "The 35th Baron of Lee". The house is not open to the public but appears to be very well maintained.

Broomhill House and Millhaugh Bridge at Larkhall, Lanarkshire, pre 1908.

Broomhill House at Larkhall in Lanarkshire may have been built by John Birnie of Broomhouse after he acquired considerable wealth, possibly as early as 1637. The Birnies are recorded as occupying Broomhill for over 180 years before passing to James Bruce in 1817. Having apparently been successful in business in India, he returned and settled down at Broomhill as a country Laird. Unfortunately his death in 1835 led to extensive litigation until 1847.

In 1902, the then sea-fearing owner of Broomhill, Captain McNeil returned home with a beautiful Indian Princess called Sita ['The Black Lady']. The story is told that she was ignorant of Edwardian customs, becoming a social outcast and an embarrassment to the Captain who then forbid her from leaving the house except at night. After two years house staff reported no sign of her and were informed that she had returned to India. But staff had not witnessed her departure and locals became suspicious. She soon returned in ghostly form, beckoning to passers-by from a window at Broomhill. She was then seen roaming the surrounding orchards and the area known as Morgan Glen. In the 1960s a television documentary team visited Larkhall and attempted to perform the first televised exorcism. The cameras were frozen over in fine weather and after filming finished the director was killed in a road crash on his way to another location. He was found with a fence post impaled in his heart.

Broomhill House itself no longer exists having fallen into disrepair in the 1960s and eventually being demolished. Door lintels from Broomfield were used in the Applebank Inn which sits below where the house stood. There have been reports of paranormal activity in the Inn since these artifacts were installed. Many local residents have seen 'the Black Lady' and indeed an investigator managed to capture her ghostly image in the 1970s.

Bibliography :

- Various Internet sources
- All images are from my own collection and may be freely copied provided a link is given back to this page.