Magnificence, Marriage & Murder: The Story of Scotland’s Brodick Castle and the Dukes of Hamilton

The story of Brodick Castle is the story of a country, a family, and a time and place. Located on Scotland’s West Coast on the Isle of Arran, Brodick is breathtaking inside and out. The grand, red sandstone Scottish baronial style castle is dramatically set against the backdrop of Goatfell Mountain (famous for its still-unsolved 1889 murder), with stunning views over Brodick Bay to the Firth of Clyde. Inside, the castle is renowned for its impressive collection of period furniture, silverware, porcelain, paintings, and sporting trophies—all set in richly appointed rooms.

There has been a fort here since at least the 5th century and during the 10th century the Vikings used the location as a defensive outpost. Since the 15th century, the Isle of Arran has been closely associated with the Hamiltons, Scotland’s greatest noble family. Reflecting the 19th century British delight with Highland Romanticism, during the Victorian era the dukes of Hamilton rebuilt the Medieval castle as a grand shooting lodge. It was during this time that the hugely important collection, including many pieces from the famous English collector William Beckford, was formed. Due to its remote location, Brodick is not seen by the public as frequently as a house of its importance should be.

Magnificence, Marriage & Murder provides an inside view of the remarkable Brodick Castle and traces the influence of the dukes of Hamilton through their other important historical houses, all of which were filled with world class art collections, history, and larger-than-life personalities.

If you’d like to see a virtual presentation on YouTube that Curt gave of this lecture in October of 2022 for the New England Historic Genealogical Society, click here.


Everything Curt talks about keeps me enraptured!