If you are a descendant of the Earls of Angus, then this is a day for you.
The Duke of Hamilton holds, in addition to the Dukedom, the following titles: Marquis of Douglas, Marquess of Clydesdale, Earl of Angus, Earl of Lanark, Earl of Arran and Cambridge, Lord Abernethy and Jedburgh Forest, Lord Machanshyre and Polmont and Lord Aven and Innerdale in the Peerage of Scotland, and Duke of Brandon and Baron Dutton, in the Peerage of Great Britain.
Alexander Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, 16th Duke of Hamilton is the Premier Peer of Scotland - and he has kindly invited us to tea at his home, Lennoxlove House.
The day begins with a visit to Dirleton Castle. Whilst this is not a Douglas castle, the Custodian, Andrew Spratt, has kindly agreed to lay on a medieval weapons display for us. He is also a fount of knowledge about Scottish castles, and the Douglas occupation of them.
We move on to the mighty Tantallon Castle. In the 1380s, the dynastic house of Douglas split into two branches, known as the â€˜Blackâ€™ and the â€˜Redâ€™. Tantallon passed to the junior line, the â€˜Red Douglasesâ€™, Earls of Angus. For the next 300 years, the earls of Angus held sway at the castle, acting out their role as one of the most powerful baronial families in Scotland.
In the afternoon, we move on to Lennloxlove.
2014 sees the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn. The National Trust for Scotlandâ€™s three day spectacular commemorating the battle takes place on Saturday 28, Sunday 29 and Monday 30 June 2014 and, as well as a brutally realistic re-enactment of the battle, features an array of themed villages, where visitors can enjoy everything from Scottish food and drink to sports, crafts and literature, exciting outdoor activities, an action packed childrenâ€™s programme, a main contemporary music stage and more.
The Battle of Bannockburn was a decisive battle in the First War of Scottish Independence. Scottish forces under King Robert I the Bruce defeated English King Edward II. About 500 Scottish infantrymen turned back thousands of English soldiers, winning Scottish Independence.
Known as the Black Douglas to the English and as the Good James (Sir) to the Scots, Douglas was a brilliant fighter and master of guerrilla warfare. He commanded the left wing of Bruce's army at the battle of Bannockburn, where he received the singular honour of being created a Knight banneret by the king, Robert the Bruce.
Following the battle, Edward II with 500 knights was pursued by Sir James Douglas until they reached Dunbar and the safety of a ship home.
You can choose to arrive early for the Douglas Gathering, and take time to visit Banockburn.
We are now fairly firm on how the programme will look for daytime events.
Monday 30th June: Visit Aberdour and Lochleven Castles
Tuesday 1st July: Visit Bothwell and Douglas Castles, the Douglas Heritage Museum and St Bride's Church
Wednesday 2nd July: Visit Dirleton and Tantallon Castles and Lennoxlove House
Thursday 3rd July: Visit Lincluden Abbey, Threave Castle and the Douglas Mausoleum
Friday 4th July: Tour Edinburgh, or a location of your choice
Saturday 5th July: Clan Muster at Drumlanrig Castle, with an opportunity to visit Morton Castle and the Queensberry Tomb.
On Sunday 6th July, we will be in Stirling, where a Kirkin o' the Tartan church service is planned. We will march with banners flying from the Castle to the Kirk. You will then have the opportunity to visit Stirling Castle, The Wallace Monument and the site of the Battle of Bannockburn.
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