Caerlaverock Castle

Caerlaverock Castle

Caerlaverock Castle is a thirteenth century castle triangular in shape and surrounded by a moat. It has a twin towered gatehouse and battlements. It was built around 1270 and has fifteenth century additions. It stands to the north of Caerlaverock Old Castle the foundations of which remain. The old castle was built in about 1220 and was one of the first stone castles built in Scotland. When built it stood at the head of a tidal inlet at a time when the sea level was higher than it is today. The wet conditions ultimately caused structural problems which led to its abandonment. The new castle was then built about 200 metres to the north. It was the home of Sir Robert Maxwell, the first Earl of Nithsdale and his ancestors. The castle was sacked and partially destroyed in 1640.

As a border castle Caerlaverock has undergone a number of sieges from English forces. The castle was abandoned after being saked in 1640. The castle is located within the Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve which covers areas of the Solway Firth and part of the land south from Dumfries/Dun Phris. We visited on a sunny day and this beautiful castle stood out spectacularly aginst the blue sky. The location is wonderful being right on the edge of the nature reserve with nice walks around the area of the castle. In the grounds stands a Mangonel, an implement of war used for firing missiles. A poignant reminder of the turbulent history of this castle. This site is definitely worth visiting. Stunningly beautiful.

Getting there

The castle is south from Dumfries toward the Solway Firth at the mouth of the River Nith. It is just off the B725 road.

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Caerlaverock Old Castle 1
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