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Caerlaverock Castle

This is Caerlaverock or Carlaverock Castle, with the imposing twin-towered gatehouse rising out of the moat, Caerlaverock Castle is a dramatic example of a 13th century defensive architecture.  It stands in a beautiful, rural setting 9 miles from Dumfries, Scotland. Caerlaverock is a site rich in the historical heritage. It is set amidst the wild space of the natural world, with both aspects well managed and preserved. Sir John de Maccuswell (Maxwell) built an earlier castle at Caerlaverock when he was granted the land in 1220 but it was too near the Solway salt marshes and the present castle was begun further inland in 1270, built on a foundation of rock. The Maxwells stayed at Caerlaverock for the next 400 years.
Because it was located so close to the English Border, Caerlaverock was an early target when King Edward I (the "Hammer of the Scots") invaded in 1300 when the Scots resisted the overlordship he had imposed. Edward arrived with 87 knights and 3,000 men. The contemporary account of this great siege is one of the most detailed to survive. The castle fell after a surprisingly short siege and became an English stronghold during the War of Independence until 1312.

Run by Historic Scotland for Caerlaverock Estate is visited by 30,000 visitors a year who come through the gates of the castle.  The castle is bordered by two wetland nature reserves, one managed by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and the other, a National Nature Reserve, managed by Scottish Natural Heritage


There are a number of things that help set Caerlaverock apart. The most striking is the way it is lapped by the waters of its broad moat. Coupled with its shape, an equilateral triangle with its apex at the huge northern gatehouse, the result is intriguing and instantly pleasing to the eye.


Red  Sandstone Carvings from Caerlaverock

Watch a Video Tour with Music


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