Author Archives: Andrew Carmichael

New Year Message 2018 from Chief Richard

New Year Message 2018 from Chief Richard

Hopefully all subscribers have now received our December 2017 Broken Spear Clan newsletter number 51 and have enjoyed it as much as Don & Mary from Indiana who described it as one of the best yet. Equally positively I firmly hope that 2018 will be a good year for all Carmichaels. Attached, as a taster gift for those who haven’t subscribed, is an article from the 51st Broken spear which was inspired by our Clan events in 2017.

Happy New Year 2018 to all.

(Richard Carmichael of Carmichael 30th Chief on Hogmanay.)


Clan Carmichael and the Jacobites

Two events in the summer of 2017 got me thinking about the Jacobites impact on the Carmichaels. The first was my 30th Chief’s Highland Tour to Oban where on Tuesday 29th August we visited Appin and in particular the castles of Dunstaffnage and Stalker, both historically at times the homes of the Stewarts of Appin.  The second event was a fantastic display in The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh called Bonnie Prince Charlie & The Jacobites; which we managed to take the day of and go around just before it closed in early November.

The golden rule for Clan longevity is to have participants on both sides in any major war so that when clan lands are forfeited to the crown they eventually are given back to the Carmichaels who were on the winning side. This is of course a perilous exercise as in the case when four sons of the First Lord Carmichael were commanding opposing forces at the battles of Dunbar, Marston Moor and Philiphaugh in 1649/1650. Captain John Carmichael and James Carmichael of Bonnytoun fought for King Charles whilst Sir Daniel Carmichael of Hyndford and Maudslie and his elder brother commanded the Clydesdale Regiment at both Marston Moor and Philiphaugh.

Family tragedy struck when Capt. John was killed in armed combat with his elder brother at Marston Moor.

As far as I can tell the numbers of Carmichaels who supported the Jacobites were roughly equal to the number of Carmichaels who supported King George and the Hanoverians. Obviously the Carmichaels in the west were supporters of Stewart of Appin or MacDougall and were for Bonnie Prince Charlie as were the Carmichaels of Eastend and many others. Most of these had their lands forfeited. The Third Earl of Hyndford who was the Chief at Carmichael however was Ambassador to Prussia for the King and indeed concluded the Peace at Aix La Chapelle, which eventually effectively ended the Jacobite cause. King George and Britain gained from the treaty from one particular clause that finally compelled the French to recognise the Hanoverian succession and expel the Jacobites from France in 1748.

The National Museum exhibition had a computer graphic re-enacting the battle of Culloden and I watched in horror as the Stewarts of Appin with their Carmichael banner bearers as battalion number 3 wheeled into action in the front row of the fiercest fight and were encircled and wiped out within an hour. These Carmichaels were from Lismore and many were macghilliemichels and some descendants of  Elizabeth Carmichael of Meadowflatt, mistress to King James and thus mother of some Royal Stewarts. King James had rebuilt Castle Stalker as a falconry base in 1540 and both James IV and V used it often for this sporting purpose. The name “stalker” means “stalcaire” which in English is “Falconer”.

As we marched out of Edinburgh castle this summer with our clan retinue of 85 we represented ages from to 2 to 82 and family and clan supporters from 8 countries America, Canada, England, Switzerland, Japan, New Zealand, Cyprus and Scotland.

This was the first time the Clans had been allowed back into Edinburgh castle since the Jacobites took the castle and Holyrood Palace in 1745. Apart from the massed pipes and drums we were escorted from the Great Hall onto the castle esplanade on August 24th by a small Jacobite force. As we marched past in our full tartan regalia these Jacobite performers  were “high five-ing” my grandchildren.  The revenge vendetta in the Highlands following the 1745 revolt was horrific and the Tattoo this year coupled with the exhibition some 272 years later can only help us remember and never forget our family contribution on both sides.

Easter Eggstravaganza 2017

Easter Sunday Eggstravaganza 2017

Sunday 16th April – 10am-5pm

An Eggtastic day out for all the family!

  • Join in our Easter Egg Hunt in Bunny Wood – 11am & 2pm
  • Win prizes in the Easter Egg and Spoon Race -12.30pm
  • See the Farm Animals
  • Easter Egg Painting and Spring Crafts in the Tearoom
  • Delicious Healthy Food in the Farm Shop and Tearoom
  • Treasure Hunt & History Quest

Entry for this event is only £3.95 per child, £2.50 per accompanying adult. Limited tickets available on the day – advance booking available.

Please Note: The entry price gives you access to one of the two Easter Egg hunts (adults – remember the eggs are for the kids!!), the Easter Egg painting competition (open all day – judging at 3pm) and the Easter Egg and Spoon Race. It also gives you access to the adventure playground, animals, wax model museum and any other competitions run on the day. Adult entry includes a free cup of tea or coffee in the tearoom.

Carmichael Visitor Centre and Farm Shop

Warrenhill Farm, Thankerton, Near Biggar, ML12 6PF:

Carmichael Visitor Centre is on the A73 between Lanark/Biggar.

Tel: 01899308169/336



The Carmichael Day – Wednesday August 23rd 2017 – Clan Carmichael Gathering 2017

For those who are unable to join the full Clan Gathering but would like to join us for the Carmichael Day on August 23rd  we have created two special options:

The Carmichael Day is a full day of activities, food, music, laughter and dancing on the Clan lands at Carmichael Estate. The schedule for the day is currently as below but is still subject to change:

Morning : Clan Carmichael march from Eagle Gates to Kirk Hill to Carmichael House

Late morning : Mini Highland Games

Midday ish : Carmichael Meats BBQ in the Gathering Field Carmichael Estate

Afternoon :  Scottish Heritage Demonstrations

Evening : Clan Ceilidh and Buffet Dinner

Option 1 – Carmichael Day Ticket – £100 per person 

This option gives access to the full program of events on Wednesday 23rd August at Carmichael Estate as outlined above. The option includes the Clan BBQ, all activities on the day and attendance of the Clan Ceilidh and Dinner (own tartan attire required). The ticket price does not include any travel arrangements, accommodation or beverages.

Option 2 – Carmichael Day BBQ Ticket – £30 per person

This option gives access to the Carmichael Day BBQ and the Scottish Heritage Demonstrations on the 23rd August at Carmichael Estate. The ticket price does not include any travel arrangements, accommodation, beverages or attendance at the Clan Ceilidh.

Those that would like to join us for the Splash of Tartan event at Edinburgh Castle on the 24th August we are able to purchase specially allocated  Edinburgh Tattoo tickets on your behalf while they are available until the end of February 2017. Tickets can be purchased by following the link. Own transport, accommodation and meal arrangements are required.

If you would like to be included in the full gathering arrangements please look at the Clan Gathering 2017

A Splash of Tartan

Its official Clan Carmichael will be opening The Edinburgh Military Tattoo on August 24th 2017 in conjunction with the McThomas Clan in what is set to be a spectacular event! The Chief’s retinue will march into the Edinburgh Castle esplanade in front of 8000 + spectators in this unique ‘splash of tartan’ event.

To join the occasion please look for further details of the Clan Carmichael International Gathering on the website – Seats are very limited to this sell out event, so early clan gathering booking is advised.…/

Clan Carmichael Gathering Highland Tour 2017

Saturday August 26 to Wednesday August 30 2017

Originally designed to encourage Carmichael Gatherers from overseas to stay longer in Scotland to make the long flight more worthwhile, and always led by your Chief in the belief that “real clans and families holiday together”, the Highland tour has in recent years always been my last tour. However each time we launch our Gathering plans I am implored to do just one more.  I have led 10 extraordinary tours over the last 33 years to all corners of Scotland and even to Cornwall and France so where to go, and what to do in August 2017?download (8)

My answer is we start again.

Our first Gathering tour in the early 1980’s celebrated the origins of the west coast Carmichaels (originally macghilliemichels), often historically kinsmen of the MacDougalls and Stewarts of Appin and Stewarts of Galloway, but more recently the forefathers of many of our overseas enthusiasts in modern day global Clan Carmichael. Its time to do so again!



Patricia and I propose taking you to visit the beautiful Isles of Lismore, Mull and Iona as well as mainland castle and Abbey attractions and basing ourselves for four nights in a fine hotel on the sea shore in the beautiful port of Oban in Argyll.

The 2017 tour will leave Carmichael on Saturday August 26th and will have lunch at Loch Lomond and dinner in Oban. It will return to Carmichael, or we can drop you at your Scottish airport, in the early afternoon of Wednesday August 30th .

All transport, taxes 20%, gratuities, meals, ferries, entry fees and accommodation (but no bar snacks, wines, beers etc) are included in the fixed price as well as the coobanfrompulpit-450mpany and leadership of your Chief and his lady Patricia.

Spaces are very limited and regretfully the tour and its castles, ferries, abbeys, hotels and mini buses are really unsuited to the disabled and young children. There are very limited single places and very limited twin bedded rooms so first come first serve with your deposit to secure a place.


The fixed price for the five days in a double rodownload (4)om is £1350 per head with a deposit of £350 per head (payable now) required to secure a place. Single room supplement (whilst available) £150.  Balance due 30 June 2017. Regret deposit is non refundable. You must insure yourself for all possible reasons that you may choose to cancel. Balance once paid is fully refundable  before July 31st and non refundable thereafter.and non refundable thereafter.


Highland Tour Deposit

  • Highland Tour deposit – double or twin room occupancy – £350 deposit to secure your place
  • Highland Tour deposit – single room – £350 deposit to secure your place (£150 supplement to final balance)

To book your place on the Highland Tour please follow this link to pay your deposit. Book your place on the 2017 Highland Tour

Chief Richard


Clan Carmichael International Gathering 2017

August 21 to August 26 2017

The latest in a series of International Carmichael Gatherings – each organised by Chief Richard and his family since 1983 – will be held at Carmichael Scotland in August 2017.

The theme this year will be Scotland’s year of History, Heritage & Archaeology and the Gathering will be centred around a spectacular ‘Splash of Tartan’ event at Edinburgh Castle on August 24th which is taking place as part of the Military Tattoo and Edinburgh Festival. On the evening of August 24th, 50 fully tartan-clad Clan members are invited to join your Chief, as his retinue, with banners, pipers and honour guard on the march into the stadium, to be greeted by the Pipe Major. It has been suggested that the middle person in imagesthe honour guard should carry a broken spear. Your Chief will toast the Tattoo with the Pipe Major from the ceremonial quaich and we will all then join our fellow Carmichael guests and find our seats throughout the stadium. If you would like to be considered for this retinue, please tick the relevant box on the booking form when it is sent to you. Preference will be given to regular Clan gatherers with full tartan gear and the final selection, if over subscribed, rests with your Chief.

The Gathering idownload (6)n 2017 will also visit some incredible Scottish historic sites and take in the spectacular history and heritage that we have on offer. We will be boarding boats on the Firth of Forth, trying our hand at tossing the caber in the Mini Highland Games, whirling our families through sets of Scottish reels and eating first class Scottish produce! Combined with the Military Tattoo and Edinburgh Festival, this will be an incredible once in a lifetime experience and a clan moment to rival Homecoming 2009 and Bannockburn 2014. We are looking forward to it very much and we warmly invite you to join us for the festivities in 2017.


Gathering Schedule 2017

MONDAY August 21  

  • am / pm   Airport Collections
  • eve           Clan Gathering Welcome dinner

TUESDAY August 22

  • am            Explore the Firth of Forth, South Queensferry and Inschcolm Island whilst aboard the Maid of the Forth. See puffins, seals, islands, history and 3 beautiful bridges


  • am           Clan lands march / mini highland games
  • pm           Carmichael Day BBQ, Scottish heritage demonstrations / activities
  • eve          Clan Ceilidh &Tartan Ball

THURSDAY August 24

  • am / pm Edinburgh International Fringe Festival
  • eve          Group dinner on the Royal Mile Edinburgh
  • 9pm         A Splash of Tartan – Edinburgh Military Tattoo

FRIDAY August 25

SATURDAY August 26

  • am           Highland Tour Departs for Oban
  • am / pm  Gatherers Depart


How much does it cost?

As with all our previous events the 2017 international gathering is priced fuldownload (7)ly inclusive of all transportation, meals, entry fees, tickets, banquets, tartan balls, taxes at 20 %, gratuities and accommodation for all five nights at £790 per person. Children under 16 sharing a Clan lands cottage 50%  discount.  Local hotel instead of Clan lands cottage supplement £175. Cottage reservations first come first serve.

Standard seated tickets for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Clan Carmichael tartan night will be reserved for Clan members who are attending the gathering and book prior to the 1st March. For bookings received after the 1st March we will not be able to guarantee a seat at this popular international event.  The price of a standard seat at the Tattoo is included in the gathering price. However, there are various levels of seat selection available so there is an option to upgrade at the time of placing your gathering deposit. We will endeavor to secure the upgraded tickets but can not guarantee their availability. Seats will be spread throughout the stands on the north side of the castle esplanade in areas 1,3,5,7 & 8 so we will not all be able to sit together in one group.

Seating Plan 2017 Tattoo

For those wanting to join the gathering for a lesser period and arrange their own travel and accommodation the cost for attending the Carmichael Day BBQ lunch on Wednesday August 23 is £30 or £100 including the ceilidh and dinner. If you book this option and pay in advance now we will still be able to secure tickets for you at cost price (£31-£125) to the Tattoo on the 24th August as long as some of our clan allocation of 150 seats remain available.

Full gathering deposit to secure a place £150 per person due now.  Deposit non refundable. You must insure yourself for any possible reason you may have to cancel. Balance due June 30 2017 fully refundable for cancellation by July 31. Regret non refundable thereafter.

How to book?

To book please go to the Clan gathering please for the the link to place your deposit. Once we have received your deposit we will email you a full booking form for further details.

There are two specially created products in the shopping cart which can be accessed from the link on the Clan Gathering 2017 page or by selecting ‘Buy Now’ on the home page and looking for Clan Gathering 2017.

Clan Gathering 2017 deposits 

  • Clan Gathering deposit including Tattoo seat (Area 1) – £150
  • Clan Gathering deposit including Tattoo Seat (Area 3) – £150 + £12 ticket premium = £162
  • Clan Gathering deposit including Premier Tattoo seat (Area 5) – £150 + £17 ticket premium = £167
  • Clan Gathering deposit including Tattoo Seat (Area 7 & 8) – £150 + £39 ticket premium = £189
  • Clan Gathering deposit including Premier Tattoo Seat (Area  8) – £150 + £94 ticket premium =£244

Edinburgh Tattoo Seating Plan

Please click here for further information on the Chief’s Highland Tour


Fruit Day @ Overton Farm this weekend

Carmichael Estate Farm Meats will be at Overton Farm in the Clyde Valley for Fruit Day this Saturday 1st October. The day is a celebration of our local orchards, fruit and local food and we will have farmers’ market stall selling our venison, beef and lamb. If you would like to pre-order anything for collection at the market please follow the link and order through the website or  call the office on 01899308336.

Clyde Valley Fruit Day is a celebration of the fruit growing tradition in our area, along with the market goodies visitors can watch chef demonstrations, wood carving, apple pressing, live music and gain interesting information about the Valley’s heritage. It’s a fun filled day for all.


Easter Eggstravaganza 2016

Carmichael Visitor Centre & Farm Shop – Easter Sunday Eggstravaganza 2016

Sunday 27th March – 10am-5pm – An Eggtastic day out for all the family!

  • Join in our Easter Egg Hunt in Bunny Wood – 11am & 2pm
  • Win prizes in the Easter Egg and Spoon Race -12.30pm
  • See the Farm Animals, explore the Adventure Playground
  • Easter Egg Painting in the Tearoom
  • Delicious Healthy Food in the Farm Shop and Tearoom
  • Treasure Hunt & History Quest

Entry for this event is only £3.95 per child, £2.50 per accompanying adult. Limited tickets available on the day – advance booking available.

Adult Entry includes a free cup of tea or coffee in the tearoom.

Please Note: The entry price gives you access to one of the two Easter Egg hunts (adults – remember the eggs are for the kids!!), the Easter Egg painting competition (open all day – judging at 3pm) and the Easter Egg and Spoon Race. It also gives you to access to the adventure playground, animals, wax model museum and any other competitions run on the day.

Carmichael Visitor Centre and Farm Shop

Warrenhill Farm, Thankerton, Near Biggar, ML12 6PF:

Carmichael Visitor Centre is on the A73 between Lanark/Biggar.

Tel: 01899308169/336

Scottish Water sells part of ancient family Estate Policy Ground in the National Interest

International press release 

Scottish Water sells part of ancient family Estate Policy Ground in the National Interest.

 In the year 1058 Queen Margaret established an early Christian church dedicated to the Archangel Saint Michel on a hill “caer” site in Clydesdale and within 200 years the people of our district became “Caer-michels” or “de Carmichael”.

 My family have been established here since 1292 and probably earlier. After the Independence struggle we were rewarded by King Robert The Bruce, through The Good Sir James Douglas for services at Bannockburn with a Barony land grant, and I remain today the 26th Baron of those lands and indeed 30th Chief of the name. Throughout history the Baron kept the king’s peace in the district and looked after the people of the district, including ensuring there was water in their wells and food in winter with fresh meat from his dovecot.Map

 In 1750 The Third Earl of Hyndford was ambassador to Prussia for King George and Great Britain and invested considerable sums in landscaping the Policies at the core of the Barony ancient lands. As can be seen on the attached 18th Century plan this project included Bannockburn “shiltron” roundels and Union Jack ditches and plantations to represent both sides of our Scotland origin and UK present reality. This certainly demonstrates that he was a great diplomat in a debate that is current today.

In 1944 The British Parliament passed The Rural Water Supplies & Sewerage Act, which provided Councils with public funds for improving rural water supplies for schools and community, and in 1957 my Cousin, the 25th Baron, sold “in consideration of the price of One Pound Sterling” various sites including a 121 sq m tank site, within the landscaped Policy boundaries and yards from the westernmost shiltron roundels. The disposition was “in favour of the said The County Council of the County of Lanark and their successors as such authority according to the true intent and meaning of the said Act and to their assignees whomsoever heritably and irredeemably”. There was no provision in either the 1944 Act or the 1957 disposition for redundant sites to be returned to original owners. However it is probable that “the true intent and meaning” of the 1944 Act, in persuading the historic land proprietor to part with a number of sites for a pound, anticipated the sittankes would be restored and returned when no longer required. Throughout my 35 years at Carmichael the tank site known as the Carmichael Crossridge Service Reservoir has been in constant use for farms and houses at Crossridge, Newside and Bowhouse. Indeed until recently water board employees regularly visited my office and even in early 2015 the community thought the tank was still in use and it is clearly still signed as such. The boundary fence is broken and various metal hatches and pipes litter the farm ground outside the site. Clearly no attempt at cleaning up the site ready for sale has been made.

On 25 February Scottish Water as successors to Lanark County Council and West of Scotland Water sold the tank site at SVA Auctions in Edinburgh for £2100 as lot 30. Although I am a client at SVA Auctions, and although Scottish Water are familiar with my office and ownership of the ground that surrounds the tank site, no attempt was made to inform me or anyone in the district of the proposed sale. As can be seen in this picture a small SVA auction sale sign was placed on the site, which is barely visible or readable from the public road, and was not spotted even by neighbours who pass every day, until March 8th. This being the date I first became aware of the sale, although adverts were apparently placed in newspapers as far away as John O Groats around February 17th, no press advert was placed in our local Lanark Gazette or The Glasgow Herald, the newspapers read by most people in our district.

Last year Clan Carmichael celebrated the 700 anniversary of the battle of Bannockburn with some 45 clan members from six different countries returning to their clan lands for Homecoming 2014. The attached pictures were taken with, then First Minister, Alec Salmond at Bannockburn field. The realisation that there would have been no Clan lands at the source of our name without the Barony grant after that battle, was sufficient incentive to bring the descendants of our forefathers home from as far away as New Zealand.SalmondGathering

I had asked Scottish Water to reconsider their sale of this lot before
completion, to the as yet still unknown purchaser, but was advised in a letter dated 23 March by Tom Axford, Head of Legal, that it could not be stopped as a binding contract is in place between Scottish Water and the purchaser.

Since the 1944 Act, watersupplies have been devolved to the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Ministers, and if this sale is truly in the national interest I would be very surprised.  It is an injustice and an affront to our global Clan Carmichael heritage. It is an insult and a demonstration of gross ingratitude for the services provided by successive Carmichael Barons to improve water for our rural community, and is against everything the current SNP government has striven to achieve since gaining power at Holyrood in 2007. It demonstrates a disregard for our heritage landscape and sets an appalling precedent for government supported injustice by ignoring the “true meaning” of the 1944 Act.

Richard Carmichael of Carmichael

25 March 2015