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Encyclopedia > Mugdock Castle
Mugdock Castle Today
Mugdock Castle Today

Mugdock Castle was the stronghold of the Clan Graham from the middle of the 13th century. Its ruins are located in Mugdock Country Park, just west of the village of Mugdock. The castle is within Stirling council area, although it is only 2km north of Milngavie, on the northern outskirts of Glasgow. Image File history File links MugdockCastle1. ... Image File history File links MugdockCastle1. ... Clan Graham is a Scottish clan who had territories in both the Scottish Highlands and Lowlands. ... Mugdock Country Park is a historical site located in East Dunbartonshire and to the north of Glasgow, next to Milngavie. ... Stirling (Sruighlea in Gaelic) is one of 32 unitary council regions in Scotland with a population of about 85,000. ... Milngavie, (pronounced Mill–Guy or Mull–Guy), is a town on the northwestern outskirts of Glasgow, Scotland. ... For other uses, see Glasgow (disambiguation). ...



The lands of Mugdock were a property of the Grahams from the mid-13th century, when David de Graham of Dundaff acquired them from the Earl of Lennox. It is possible that his descendant, Sir David de Graham (d. 1396) built the castle.[1] It was certainly standing by August 1372, when a contemporary document was signed here.[2] In 1458, the lands were erected into the Barony of Mugdock. Later, in 1505, the Grahams were created Earls of Montrose. The title of Duke of Montrose was created in the peerage of Scotland in 1488 for David Lindsay. ...

The most famous of the Montrose Grahams, James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose, may have been born at Mugdock Castle in 1612.[3] During the Bishops Wars, a prelude to the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, Montrose briefly supported the Covenanters. Montrose was imprisoned in Edinburgh in 1641, for intrigues against Archibald Campbell, 1st Marquess of Argyll, who was to become his arch-enemy. While Montrose was in prison, Lord Sinclair sacked Mugdock. Montrose returned there, however, until 1644 when he began his Royalist revolt, becoming the King's commander in Scotland. Mugdock was sacked again that year. James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose (1612 - 21 May 1650), was a Scottish nobleman and soldier, who initially joined the Covenanters in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, but subsequently supported King Charles I as the English Civil War developed. ... The Bishops Wars, a series of armed encounters and defiances between England and Scotland in 1639 and 1640, were part of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. ... Combatants Scottish Royalists and Irish Catholic Confederate troops Scottish Covenanters Commanders James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose Archibald Campbell, 1st Marquess of Argyll and David Leslie Strength Fluctuating, 2000-4000 troops at any one time over 30,000 troops, but many based in England and Ireland Casualties Total of 28... The Covenanters, named after the Solemn League and Covenant, were a party that, originating in the Reformation movement, played an important part in the history of Scotland, and to a lesser extent in that of England, during the 17th century. ... Archibald Campbell Archibald Campbell, 1st Marquess of Argyll and 8th Earl of Argyll (1607 - 27 May 1661) was the de facto head of government in Scotland during most of the Scottish Civil War (which was part of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms). ... Lord Sinclair is a title in the Peerage of Scotland. ...

Following the defeat of Charles I, Montrose was executed in 1650, and the lands were forfeited to the Marquess of Argyll. In 1661 Argyll too was executed, and Mugdock was returned to the Grahams, who restored the castle over a two year period, building a mansion within the old castle walls.[4] In 1682 the Grahams bought Buchanan Old House near Drymen, a dwelling more fitting the title of "Marquess". The family's official seat was kept at Mugdock Castle for a some time. Charles I (19 November 1600 – 30 January 1649) was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. ... Buchanan Castle is a large house in Stirlingshire, Scotland. ...

A terraced walled garden, incorporating a summer house, was built to the east of the castle in the 1820s. In 1875, the 17th century mansion was demolished, and a Scottish baronial style house was built in the ruins of the old castle. It was designed by architect James Sellers for local historian and antiquarian James Guthrie Smith. Much of the eastern part of the original castle was destroyed in the process. During World War II the house was requisitioned for use by the government, but by 1948 was empty. It was demolished in 1967, although foundations and walls remain. Greenock Sheriff Court displays crow-stepped gables and corbelled corner turrets. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...

In 1981 the castle and grounds were donated by its then owner to Central Regional Council. The lands now form part of Mugdock Country Park, and the ruins are publically accessible. The remaining tower has been renovated as a museum. The castle is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a Category A listed building. A Scheduled Ancient Monument is defined in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 and the National Heritage Act 1983 of the United Kingdom government. ... Buckingham Palace, a Grade I listed building. ...


The early castle

How Mugdock Castle may have looked before it was partially destroyed during the Civil War
How Mugdock Castle may have looked before it was partially destroyed during the Civil War

The original castle was built in the mid-14th century. It comprised four towers arranged around a courtyard, and linked by high curtain walls. In the middle of the south wall was the main gate. The castle stood on a natural, steep-sided mound formed of hard volcanic rock, at the west edge of Mugdock Loch, which was larger then than its present extent.[5] Of the early castle, only the south-west tower remains complete, and forms the most recognisable feature of the ruins. The narrow tower is of four storeys, with an entrance on the first floor, accessed via exterior steps on the east side. Inside the basement is vaulted, and a single room occupies each storey. On the outside, a line of corbels projects the two upper storeys out from the lower levels, giving the tower a distinctive "top-heavy" appearance. The only other remains are the basement of the north-west tower, part of the gatehouse, and linking sections of curtain wall.


The castle was extended in the mid-15th century, probably around the time that the barony was created. An outer wall was built to enclose the majority of the mound as an outer courtyard. This courtyard had its main entrance to the south, adjacent to the south-west tower. Inside the courtyard are the ruins of various stone buildings, mainly dating from the 16th century.[6] These include a chapel at the north extent of the courtyard, and a domestic range at the south-west. Much of the outer curtain wall has also disappeared, although the southern section remains.

The Victorian house

By the late 19th century, much of the castle was in ruins. When James Guthrie Smith built his mansion, any remains of the eastern towers were obliterated. The one surviving tower was incorporated into the new building, via a first-floor covered passage, over a wide-arched bridge. The house itself was L-shaped and three storeys high, and built in the Scottish baronial style. The front door faced the south-west tower, framing a small courtyard. The house was mostly demolished to the foundations in 1967, although some walls stand to first-floor level. Greenock Sheriff Court displays crow-stepped gables and corbelled corner turrets. ...


  1. ^ Lindsay, p.386
  2. ^ Mugdock Country Park Website: [1]
  3. ^ Coventry, p.327
  4. ^ Gazetteer for Scotland, [2]
  5. ^ Lindsay, p.386
  6. ^ NMRS Site Ref. NS57NW 9.00


  • Coventry, Martin The Castles of Scotland (3rd Edition), Goblinshead, 2001
  • Lindsay, Maurice The Castles of Scotland, Constable & Co. 1986
  • Mason, Gordon The Castles of Glasgow and the Clyde, Goblinshead, 2000

Historic Scotland is the Scottish agency looking after historic monuments. ...

External links

  • Mugdock Country Park website
  • Clan Graham Society



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