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Castle Douglas 

Castle Douglas was a stronghold of the Douglas family from medieval times to the 20th century. The first castle, erected in the 13th century, was destroyed and replaced several times, until the 18th century, when a large mansion house was built in its place. This was demolished in 1938, and today only a single corner tower of the 17th century castle remains. The castle was the former family seat of the Prime Minister, Alec Douglas-Home.

The castle is located 1 kilometer north east of the village of Douglas, South Lanarkshire, Scotland.

photo by james perkins

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When this property popped up on my Twitter feed last week, I couldn’t help but bookmark it to feature with this 5 of the best series. For a start, the interior caught my eye as the living space is peppered with cool pieces of furniture and lighting (hello Arco light, hello Robin Day dining chairs, and hello vintage sideboard).

And then there’s the scale of the main living area, which is open plan to the dining space and kitchen. Just look at the vast ceiling height here, which creates a great sense of space, while the floor-depth windows and Velux rooflights bathe this area in natural light.

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Sealed vault in St Bride’s Kirk, Douglas, with the engraved words ‘The good Sir James of Douglas. Died 1330.’
The Good Sir James Douglas was King Robert the Bruce’s right-hand man during the Scottish Wars for Independence. Douglas not only fought with the rank and file at the great victory at Bannockburn, he also destroyed his own castle so the English could no longer occupy it. For this and his other valiant and brutal actions against them, he was called “the Black Douglas.” Walter Scott wrote a novel about James and his castle entitled “Castle Dangerous.
The Good Sir James and some of his descendants are buried in Douglas at St. Bride’s Kirk. Actually it is uncertain if his bones were returned from his last battle in Spain, where he had stopped to fight the Moors with the Spanish on the way to take King Robert the Bruce’s embalmed heart on crusade to the Holy Land. Seeing himself surrounded and cut off from his men, Douglas charged into the battle, throwing the casket containing the heart ahead of him, and saying something akin to “Forward great heart! Wherever thou goest I will always follow!” Although he died in southern Spain that day, Bruce’s heart was returned to Scotland and buried in Melrose Abbey, and James’s embalmed heart was returned to Douglas and buried in the church.