A place of relaxation
After a colourful past, Dalhousie Castle is now a place of relaxation and luxury.
Enjoy a dram
Become part of the Castle's history - the original Drawing Room is an idea place to enjoy a wee dram in front of the large open fire.
A long tradition of service and hospitality
The present owners wish to continue the tradition and highest standards of service.
The Act of Union in 1707 had a slow pacifying effect on Scotland’s quarrels with England and the Ramsay family turned gradually from warfare to politics although some descendants made notable appearances on battlefields. In 1710 the 5th Earl served with a brigade sent to aid Archduke Charles in the wars of the Spanish succession, another Ramsay was signatory to the capitulation of Quebec to General Wolfe in 1759.
The 9th Earl George, Captain-General of the Grand Order of Archers, appeared prominently in public life, beginning as a colonel in the Cameronian Regiment and ending as Governor-in-Chief in North America. He was present at Waterloo, where Wellington, having watched him outflank the enemy, was moved to comment “By God that man has more confidence in him than any other general officer in the army”. In 1816 he was appointed Lt-Governor of Nova Scotia and although he continued in this post for only four years, he found time to sow the seed for what now has become one of the finest educational establishments in Canada - Dalhousie University in Halifax.
Meanwhile, Dalhousie castle had fallen into disrepair. The Civil War, 150 years before, had proved a lasting drain on the family’s finances, and when the 8th Earl brought his bride home she had to pick her way to the accommodation across bare beams. The Earl and his lady made considerable improvements, unfortunately not in the best of taste.
The 9th Earl, with the aid of the architect Burns, undid much of the previous Earls work and restored the building in keeping with its original form. Inside the front door there was formerly an open courtyard across which one went to gain access to the main building through a low door in the keep and up a turnpike stairway. The courtyard was roofed in and converted into an entrance hall, further buildings were added between the keep and outer wall. The 9th Earl died in 1832, mourned amongst others, by his old school friend Sir Walter Scott.
However, his youngest son James, the first and only Marquis, was to prove to be every bit as accomplished as his forebears. Prominent in debate in the House of Lords, he became President of the Board of Trade at the age of 33, and three years later travelled to Calcutta as the youngest every Governor-General of India. He died in 1860 still only 48. His remains are buried in the family vault at Cockpen church a few 100 yards from the castle. His life was summed up by Lord Curzon, representing the British Government in India, with the words “No man ever gave his life to his country more completely or with more consuming devotion”. Queen Victoria visited the Castle in 1840 “to take tea with her devoted servant” the 10th Earl.
The Marquis, having no son was succeeded by his cousin Lord Panmure, as 11th Earl and since the turn of the century, the Earls of Dalhousie have resided at Brechin castle. The 16th Earl, Governor General of Rhodesia and Nyasaland before their dissolution, passed away at the age of 93 on 16th July 1999.
Dalhousie Castle itself has been leased to a series of tenants. Before its conversion to a hotel in 1972 it was a private Boarding School. Robert and Gina Parker, the present owner believes that the long tradition of service and hospitality associated with the Castle should continue, and with this in mind, much has been done to restore the Castle to its former glory, whilst providing the comforts of living in the 21st century.
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