Glenlair House hosts a tour and discussion of findings from the ‘Building Biographies’ Project.

On 7th July, twenty guests got a guided tour of Glenlair House, the home of James Clerk Maxwell, and heard from volunteers that have been leading the ‘Building Biographies’ research project, investigating the history of stately homes across Galloway. The event was a chance to share findings from the project and to appreciate the surroundings of Glenlair House, home to one of the finest scientists ever to have lived.


The Building Biographies project has been running in recent months as part of the ‘Can You Dig It’ Community Archaeology initiative. Approximately 60 volunteers have been researching the history of a range of stately homes in Galloway, compiling information from online and printed resources. This gives us a better understanding of a key part of Galloway’s heritage. It was great to be able to hold the meeting in Glenlair, home to James Clerk Maxwell.


Glenlair is a private residence, now home to the Ferguson family. Captain Duncan Ferguson led the tour, and said:

I am delighted to see so much local interest in James Clerk Maxwell, one of Scotland’s most internationally famous sons, but sadly little known in his own country.”


The event on the 7th was overseen by Jan Hogarth, Galloway Glens Education & Community Engagement Officer. Jan said:

“A huge thank you to Captain Duncan Fergusson for an illuminating and informative visit to Glenlair House, the home of Scotland’s most respected physicist, James Clerk Maxwell. Duncan showed us around the house and grounds of Glenlair and helped transport us back in time to when James Clerk Maxwell owned the estate. We visited the trees he planted, the extension to the buildings he created, and the landscape design work there. Glenlair is a very special place with a really peaceful ambience, making it very easy to imagine James Clerk Maxwells deep connection with nature and the universe which inspired his theories on electromagnetism, electricity and light as manifestations of the same phenomenon. He also understood Saturn’s ring, colour photography and much more. The afternoon was beautifully topped off with a knowledge share from our intrepid Building Biography researchers.”


More information about Glenlair House is available at http://www.glenlair.org.uk/, with donations welcomed for the good work undertaken.