Sea­son ends with Drum­lan­rig visit

Mem­bers get tour of ‘Out­lander’cas­tle

East Kilbride News - - DISTRICT NEWS - Ken Law­ton

East Kil­bride Probus Club mem­bers, with their wives, ended the sea­son with a trip to Drum­lan­rig Cas­tle in Dum­friesshire.

It was one of the rare sunny spring days but although the drive down was misty, it soon burnt off and showed the cas­tle in all its glory.

Con­struc­tion had taken place be­tween 1679 and 1689 in the lo­cal dis­tinc­tive pink sand­stone (much of which was used in Glas­gow to build the ten­e­ments).

It was typ­i­cal of the re­nais­sance pe­riod of the 17th cen­tury and at 120 rooms was fairly sub­stan­tial.

The first Duke of Queens­berry, Wil­liam Dou­glas, had the cas­tle built on the site of an an­cient Dou­glas strong­hold over­look­ing the Nith Val­ley and it had been built ad­ja­cent to an old Ro­man fort some 350 yards away from the cur­rent build­ing, de­not­ing its de­fen­sive po­si­tion on the River Nith.

The cas­tle is home to 10th Duke of Buc­cleuch (and he is also 12th Duke of Queens­berry) and houses part of the Buc­cleuch art col­lec­tion and in­cludes Rem­brandt’s and Leonardo da Vinci’s Madonna of the Yarn Win­der, which was stolen in 2003 and re­turned in 2007 af­ter be­ing found in a Glas­gow so­lic­i­tors’ of­fice.

Guides who took the com­pany around high­lighted the many other paint­ings, ta­pes­tries, ob­jects of art, sil­ver, French fur­ni­ture to be seen and ap­pre­ci­ated.

They were hugely knowl­edge­able and although the tour only cov­ered a frac­tion of the cas­tle, it gave the Probus mem­bers a real in­sight into one of Scot­land’s most pow­er­ful fam­i­lies.

There was not enough time to take in the gar­dens, which were in early spring mode, and the wood­land walks, all of which cover some 40 acres.

The cas­tle has also fea­tured re­cently as a lo­ca­tion for the TV se­ries Out­lander. Prior to this it had also fea­tured in the 1978 film ‘The 39 Steps’.

Be­fore the tour be­gan, a light lunchtime snack was had in the Sta­ble Yard Cafe.

And fol­low­ing the tour, there was time for one last look round and then every­one re-con­vened in the cafe.

As the weather never re­ally lifted, a walk through the wood­lands or gar­dens was not go­ing to be com­fort­able or en­joy­able.

Ahead of leav­ing, East Kil­bride Probus Club pres­i­dent John Walker gave a vote of thanks for such an in­ter­est­ing visit.

The jour­ney home was made in still misty weather and the sur­round­ing scenery of Dum­friesshire slipped away for an­other time, leav­ing the cas­tle to sink into the far south­ern hori­zon.

The next meet­ing will be back in the old Par­ish Church hall, Glebe Street at 2pm for 2.30pm on Wed­nes­day, Oc­to­ber 3 when the win­ter pro­gramme will be­gin.

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