Castle of Mains
Castle (also known as Fintry Castle or Claverhouse Castle(1)) is a
16th-century castle in Dundee, Scotland. The castle consists of
several buildings surrounding a courtyard, although several of the
original western buildings no longer exist. The northern and eastern
buildings are where the family would have lived, with the servants
occupying the southern quarters. The castle also has a large,
six-floor, square tower house with dressed cornerstones, which is
typical of 16th-century construction.
An earlier castle was held by the Douglas Earls of Angus from the
fourteenth century til 1530 when it passed to the Grahams.
The castle is located
in Dundee's Caird Park to the north of the city overlooking the
Dichty valley and adjacent to a small stream known as the Gelly
Burn. On the opposite side of the burn is located the mausoleum of
the Graham family and the Main's cemetery, which was formerly the
site of the district's kirk. There a sacred well. the 'Suuny Vie' as
locals would know; it is really called St Sinavey.
is believed to have been built in 1562 (which is confirmed by a date
carved over a doorway) by Sir David Graham, nephew of Cardinal
Beaton. A keystone in the western gateway bears this date as well as
the initials DG and DMO for David Graham and Dame Margaret Ogilvy. A
horizontal beam in one of the eastern courtyard doors bears a date
of 1582, indicating a possible completion date. The castle was the
seat of the Grahams of Fintry and remained so until the 19th century
when Robert Graham of Fintry sold the lands to David Erskine, with
the condition that his family could retain the territorial title of
Graham of Fintry and that the estate revert to the older name of
Lumlathen or Linlathen. The estate was later sold by Shipley
Gordon Stuart Erskine to James Key Caird, who gifted the castle and
its lands to the town council as a site for a public park in 1913.
The park was later opened in 1923 by Caird's half sister Mrs
Marryat. The castle was renovated in the 1980s through a government
scheme for the unemployed, as many of the buildings had become
Mains Castle, which is now under new ownership, is
available for religious and civil weddings in Dundee.
castle and its grounds was the subject of a poem by Dundee poet
William McGonagall in his work The Castle of Mains.
Ancient Castle of the Mains,
With your romantic scenery And
Which seem most beautiful to the eye,
the little rivulet running by,
Which the weary traveller can
drink of when he feels dry.
And the heaven's breath smells
And scented perfumes fill the air,
from the green trees and beautiful wild flowers growing there.
There the people can enjoy themselves
And wile away the time,
By admiring the romantic scenery In the beautiful sunshine;
pull the little daisy,
As they carelessly recline
grassy green banks,
Which is most charming to see,
Near by the
Castle of the Mains,
Not far from Dundee.
Then there's the
Most solemn to see,
And the silent dead
Amid the shady trees,
In that beautiful
Most lovely to see,
Which in the summer season
Fills the people's hearts with glee,
To hear the birds singing
and the humming of the bee.
1. This may not be correct - see
Claverhouse Castle It could
possibly have been referred to as Mains of Claverhouse Castle
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