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Caerlaverock Castle, Dumfries and Galloway

Location: 13km south east of Dumfries, DG1 4RU (map and directions)

Caerlaverock Castle is a medieval stronghold located in what today is known as the Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve near the border to England and is one of Scotlandís most magnificent castles. Built in the 13th century, this breathtaking triangular moated castle was first in the hands of the English, owned by the Maxwell family. The castleís strong defensive walls made of red sandstone are unique in Britain due to their triangular shape, but did not prove imposing enough to avoid coming under attack.

Caerlaverock Castle, Dumfries & Galloway - Wikimedia Commons
Caerlaverock Castle - Wikimedia Commons

History of Caerlaverock Castle

In 1356 Caerlaverock was besieged by Scottish forces and the current design of the castle is a result of the refurbishments undertaken throughout the 1300 and 1400s. This would not be the last time that Caerlaverock saw battle, however. In 1544 the English captured the castle and though it was returned to the Scots, Caerlaverock was attacked a second time in the century in 1570.

After the union of the crowns in 1603, a period of peace between Scotland and England meant that Caerlaverock Castle was no longer in the line of fire, and Robert Maxwell converted the castle into a place fit for a family in 1634, adding comfortable lodging facilities and ornamental stonework to the castleís interior. Just 6 years later Caerlaverock was attacked by an army of Covenanters who, after 13 weeks, finally surrendered to the Maxwells, who defended the castle in the name of King Charles I. Caerlaverock Castle was left unrepaired however, and slowly slid into ruin until Historic Scotland took over care of the castle in 1964.

Today the castle is a popular tourist attraction and home to nature trails, a childrenís adventure park, and a shop with local products from Dumfries and Galloway.

Map and directions

Caerlaverock Castle is open year round (closed Christmas and Boxing Day).


View Caerlaverock Castle in a larger map

Other castles in Dumfries & Galloway

Bullet Point Abbot's Tower
Bullet Point Amisfield Tower
Bullet Point Balmangan Tower
Bullet Point Barholm Castle
Bullet Point Caerlaverock Castle
Bullet Point Cardoness Castle
Bullet Point Closeburn Castle
Bullet Point Comlongon Castle
Bullet Point Drumcoltran Tower
Bullet Point Drumlanrig Castle
Bullet Point Dunksey Castle
Bullet Point Frenchland Tower
Bullet Point Gilnockie Tower
Bullet Point Castle Kennedy
Bullet Point Lochhouse Tower
Bullet Point Lochmaben Castle
Bullet Point Lochnaw Castle
Bullet Point MacLellan's Castle
Bullet Point Morton Castle
Bullet Point Orchardton Tower
Bullet Point Repentance Tower
Bullet Point Sorbie Tower
Bullet Point Castle St. John
Bullet Point Threave Castle
Bullet Point Torthorwald Castle

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