Monday, 13 August 2012

Number One Owner

Balintore Castle was built in 1860 for a David Lyon (1794-1872). His name is still to be found on the building as the initials "D. L." appear on the guttering hopper heads. Why did be build the castle, and why, as rumoured, did he sell it after just a year? 

Every so often I check-up what information there is on the Internet and it is remarkable what has turned up. There is portrait of 1825, painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence, which is now to be found in the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid.

The family had made a considerable fortune from interests in the West Indies, but David Lyon was the only one of the five brothers who joined the family business.  He had a brief parliamentary career (1831-1832); married late (1848); and became High Sheriff of Sussex (1851). There is a clear connection to the Queen Mum's family (Bowes-Lyon) and I guess it is no accident that Glamis Castle is only a few miles away from Balintore Castle.

Not only did Lyon own Balintore Castle, he also owned Goring Hall and kept a town house at 31 South Street, Grosvenor Square. My only challenges now, are how to channel such over-achievement and how to cut such a considerable dash as "number one owner" does in the portrait below. In short, how do I fop? :-)

David Lyon painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence


  1. Sorry, David, you are quite incapable of becoming a fop! (As far as I am aware it is not a verb.) Nice pic - be good to have it hanging in the fully restored castle! I take it you have tackled Kinnordy Estate records?

  2. Its great that you have had some more updates - I had read all the rest of the blog.

    Anyway, just a quick (and belated) thank you for showing me quickly round the main hall when you had your Canadian Visitors - the walk up to the Hydro weir was refreshing!!

    I did say that I would let you have the address of my website (the vintage picture one) so here it is

    If you get in touch, I would love to see around more of the Castle if I can the next time I am up in Broughty Ferry visiting my parents! - Gavin

  3. Thanks Gavin - I'm hands-on at the castle currently which means I can do a wee bit of blogging when recovering from a burst of physical activity! Your website is great. I recall my Mum showing me a colour slide from 1939-ish, saying "Most people don't realise it, but we had colour photography before the war." This is pretty much the by-line of your site! If there was an index of your 20,000 slides then I suspect usage of your library could turn a greater profit! I dread to think of the magnitude of this task, why it would be like, er, restoring a large ruined castle. :-) Any time you want to look around just let me know.