Monday, 28 October 2013

Claypotts Castle

Claypotts Castle in Dundee is a very fine sight, a very well preserved early sixteenth century tower house with a 'Z plan'.What makes it so distinctive are the two rectangular rooms added to the tops of the two round towers. Originally built by John Strachan c1569-1588, in 1601 Claypotts Castle was sold to Sir William Graham of Ballunie who in turn sold it to Sir William Graham of Claverhouse. It remained in the hands of the Graham's until passing to the crown in 1689 following the death of the 7th Laird of Claverhouse, the dashing John Graham, 1st Viscount Dundee at the the battle of Killiekrankie. In 1694 Claypotts was gifted to James Douglas, Earl of Angus until later it passed by marriage to the 13th Earl of Home. He then gifted the castle to the state in 1926.

The castle now finds itself in the midst of a suburban housing sprawl, next a busy arterial road, however these inauspicious surroundings do not detract  from this splendid small castle's great presence..

In the late nineteenth century Claypotts Castle was a familiar landmark to my grandmother Helen, born and brought up in Broughtyferry. She passed it every time the family went to and from the Ferry. In due course she was to marry her own 'gallant' Graham, Norman who had served with distinction (M.C.), in the cavalry during the First World War. When in 1926 she gave birth to their son, at Rawrawlpindi in the Punjab she had already chosen his name. John.

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