The Estate History

In the medieval period the area acquired by the Lyon family, by royal grant or by purchase, was much more scattered than today. This included lands at Forgandenny in Perthshire, Belhavie in Aberdeenshire, Kinghorn in Fife and Castle Lyon in the Carse of Gowrie. The estate around Glamis was also more extensive, reaching to Airlie, Tannadice and Auchterhouse.

Not all of this area was owned at one time and the land could be wodset (mortgaged) or feued to raise money in time of war or unrest. The most prominent example of this was during the late 17th Century. The 3rd Earl spent a long time taking land back under his direct control, then issuing new leases where he could increase the rents and ensure the land was managed properly.

In the mid 18th Century, major change took place on the estate, mostly inspired by the fashion for agricultural improvement. There was a move from multiple tenants on a holding to a single tenant. The land was also enclosed and the buildings were improved. It was about this time that new crops were also introduced, such as fodder turnips.

During the 1860’s, under the 13th Earl, the Glamis estate again came to the forefront of Victorian agricultural achievement. The Aberdeen Angus cattle won numerous prizes at Smithfield, new steadings were built, water supplies installed and an extensive forestry programme undertaken. The grounds of Glamis Castle were not forgotten, with the establishment of a new kitchen garden and glass houses where prizewinning grapes were grown.

Today, although the estate may not be as extensive as it once was, it is still an important part of Strathmore, creating employment and contributing to a rich and diverse environment.