The house from a circa 1922 postcard
The drawing room
The dining room
The Bavarian Summerhouse
Earlier Houses: There was originally a 13th century Viking fortress on, or near, the site of the current house.
Built / Designed For: 1st Lord Hamilton
House & Family History: Paneling from Leatheringham Abbey, on the Easton Park Estate, a former Hamilton seat in Suffolk, is today in the dining room of Brodick Castle. In 1947 George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited Brodick, together with Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret and Prince Philip of Greece (they were engaged at the time). The castle and gardens were acquired by the National Trust for Scotland from Lady Jean Fforde in 1958 in lieu of death duties upon the death of her mother, the Dowager Duchess of Montrose. Since 1987 an illustration of the castle has featured on the reverse side of £20 banknotes issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Collections: Brodick houses an extensive collection of paintings, porcelain, hardstone objets d′art, and silver from the Hamilton and William Beckford collections (Beckford's daughter, Susan Euphemia, was married to the 10th Duke of Hamilton).
Garden & Outbuildings: The woodland gardens are considered to be among Europe's finest; the rhododendron collection is internationally famous. The Bavarian Summerhouse (see "Images" section) was constructed by German craftsman for Princess Marie of Baden, a cousin of Napoleon III who married the 11th Duke of Hamilton in 1843. Built into sandstone rock face, the folly’s exterior is adorned with the stems of rhododendrons, while the inside is decorated with shells, rocks, and pinecones.
John Bernard (J.B.) Burke, published under the title of A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland, among other titles: 2.S. Vol. II, p. 142, 1855.
Country Life: CLXXIII, 322, 380, 1983.
House Listed: Category A
Park Listed: Designated Garden & Designed Landscape
Past Seat / Home of: James Hamilton, 1st Lord Hamilton, until 1479; James Hamilton, 1st Earl of Arran and 2nd Lord Hamilton, until 1529; James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran and 1st Duke of Châtellerault, until 1575; James Hamilton, 3rd Earl of Arran, until 1609; James Hamilton, 2nd Marquess of Hamilton, 1609-25; James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Hamilton, 1625-49; William Hamilton, 2nd Duke of Hamilton, 1649-51; Anne Hamilton, 3rd Duchess of Hamilton, 1651-1716; Lieutenant General James Hamilton, 4th Duke of Hamilton and 1st Duke of Brandon, 1698-1712; James Hamilton, 5th Duke of Hamilton and 2nd Duke of Brandon, 1712-43; James George Hamilton, 6th Duke of Hamilton and 3rd Duke of Brandon, 1743-58; James George Hamilton, 7th Duke of Hamilton and 4th Duke of Brandon, 1758-69; Douglas Hamilton, 8th Duke of Hamilton, 5th Duke of Brandon, and 2nd Baron Hamilton of Hameldon, 1769-99; Archibald Hamilton, 9th Duke of Hamilton and 6th Duke of Brandon, 1799-1819; Alexander Hamilton, 10th Duke of Hamilton and 7th Duke of Brandon, 1819-52; William Alexander Archibald Hamilton, 11th Duke of Hamilton and 8th Duke of Brandon, 1852-63; William Alexander Louis Stephen Douglas-Hamilton, 12th Duke of Hamilton, 9th Duke of Brandon, and 2nd Duke of Châtellerault, 1863-95; Lieutenant Alfred Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, 13th Duke of Hamilton and 10th Duke of Brandon, 1895-1906; Hamilton family here from the 15th century until 1906. Susan, Dowager Duchess of Montrose, until 1958.
Current Ownership Type: The National Trust for Scotland
Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction
House Open to Public: Yes
Historic Houses Member: No