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Carved Armorial of Douglas, Earl of Angus











Earl of Angus CofACarved Armorial of Douglas, Earl of Angus, North Front, Drumlanrig Castle, Dumfries & Galloway

This carved armorial, that of Douglas, Earl of Angus, lies to the right of the main entrance porch on the north front. The shield is divided into four quarters, each of which represents an eminent Scottish family. The first quarter (top left) shows a crowned lion rampart (for the Macdowall family) and the second, a lion rampart (without a crown) surmounted by a ribbon (diagonal band) for the Abernethy family. The third quarter (bottom left) shows three piles (forms of wedges with the point of each wedge facing the lower part of the shield) for Wishart, and the fourth, 'fess chequy' (a strip of small squares, usually with seven squares in the top line) surmounted by a bend (horizontal band) with three buckles for Stewart. In the centre is the crowned heart and three five-pointed stars for Douglas.

The emblems of a heart surmounted by a crown, and three five-pointed stars appear everywhere at Drumlanrig - in stone, lead, iron, wood, leather and carpeting. The latter dates from the 14th century when it was carried as the coat-of-arms of 1st Duke's ancestor, Sir James Douglas, 'The Good' or 'Black' Douglas, and previous Lords of Douglas.

The origins of the crowned heart date from 1330 when Sir James was entrusted to carry the heart of Robert Bruce, King of Scots to the Holy Land for burial.

Drumlanrig Castle, one of the great Renaissance courtyard houses of Scottish domestic architecture, stands within extensive parkland amongst the hills of Nithsdale. The mansion was built between 1679 and 1690 for William Douglas, 1st Duke of Queensberry, incorporating part of a mid-16th-century house and the remains of a late 14th-century Douglas stronghold which originally stood on the site. The architect was almost certainly James Smith who had worked on the construction of Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh, and the builder was William Lukup who is buried in Durisdeer churchyard nearby.

Source: RCAHMS contribution to SCRAN.

CofA earl of angus

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