Glamis Castle (pictured) dates from the late 17th century, although the site is believed to have been occupied by the Scottish monarch Macbeth in the 11th century. Originally a hunting lodge, it has been altered and reconstructed ever since. Glamis Castle is the family seat of the late Queen Mother.
The House of Dun was designed and built by William Adam in 1730 for David Erskine, Lord Dun. His wife, Lady Augusta Kennedy-Erskine, was the natural daughter of William IV and Mrs Jordan, and the house contains royal mementos of that period and many examples of Lady Augusta's woolwork and embroidery.
William Adam was the foremost Scottish architect of his time. As master mason to the Board of Ordnance in northern Britain, he supervised the design of military buildings and designed many country houses in a conservative Palladian style. This was the modified classic Roman style originally developed by the 16th century architect Andrea Palladio.
Robert Adam, William's son, was probably the most influential architect of the 18th century, and is renowned for his classical public and private buildings throughout Britain. Working with his three brothers, Adam became architect to George III and was responsible for many of the elegant Georgian terraces in London.
Culzean Castle was built between 1772 and 1790 by Robert Adam for David, 10th Earl of Cassillis. It surrounds an earlier, more defensive L-shaped tower house that was built in the 1590s by Sir Thomas Kennedy. The family was descended from the Earls of Carrick and related to Robert the Bruce.
Although Culzean Castle still incorporates some of the original 16th century stonework, Robert Adam carried out a massive schedule of enlargement and decoration in his Neo-classical style. This included the enormous circular Saloon and Oval Staircase as well as ceilings, plasterwork mouldings and paintings by Antonio Zucchi.
Robert Adam's work in Edinburgh includes Register House and Edinburgh University Old College. In London he designed Portland Place, Lansdowne House and the facade of the Admiralty in Whitehall. Adam was particularly renowned for his interiors such as that at Kenwood House, home of the Iveagh Collection of paintings.
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