Every day we find out something new about the Clans and their activities around the world and today is no different. This weekend the Clan Galbraith had their Gathering in Nashville, Tennessee and we hope to bring you some stories very soon but meantime we will make a start finding out a bit more about how it all began.
As this is the first in our series of blogs about the Galbraith’s we must set the scene which began in 1124 when Gilchrist Bhreatnach was born shortly after King David I assumed the throne. Gilchrist was the First Chief, building a castle on Inchgalbraith at Loch Lomond where you can still find the ruins today. Inch means Island and don’t you love this overhead view of Galbraith Island which only measures 25 in diameter? The island is actually known as a Crannog as it is constructed of stone, although whether these stones were brought by man or glacier is undetermined. These days the whole island is covered with collapsed stones from the castle itself. Spurred on by this interesting story we decided to explore a few more of the Galbraith keeps and castles.
You can still stay Culcreuch Castle in Fintry, ancestral seat of Clan Galbraith for over 700 years and now one of Scotland’s oldest hotels. The earliest parts of the building date from 1320 with the old three storey Tower standing 42 feet high topped with a parapet. The walls are said to be over 5 feet 6 inches thick in places so no wonder it is still standing! The Castle is build of loopy limestone quarried on the Estate and is famous for it’s Bottle Dungeon which is shaped just as it says meaning the prisoner could not lie down just to add to their misery. If you are lucky enough to visit Culcreuch today you enter through the original entrance to the tower into the Dungeon Restaurant and breakfast and private dining is served in the old Laird’s Hall.
Bardowie Castle was built in 1566 on the banks of Bardowie Loch in East Dunbartonshire by the Galbraith family. Since then it has passed through marriage to the Hamiltons of Cadzow and then the Buchanan family. The estate hit the news in 2002 when after huge investment and modernisation it was put up for sale by owner Jack Black for £1.2m, then having had no offers again in 2003 for the much reduced £950,000. Fame hit again early this year Hollywood heartthrob Christopher Pine claimed he needed to stay in a Scottish Castle to get in character while he played Robert the Bruce. His chosen castle was Bardowie!
So there you have it a gentle introduction to the Galbraith Clan. There is lots more to tell but most of all we would love to hear from you, the Galbraith’s out there wherever you are in the world, how you got there and what it means to you to have thousands of years of Scottish heritage behind you. Send us a hello!