Season ends with Drumlanrig visit
Members get tour of ‘Outlander’castle
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.