Caerlaverock Castle, Dumfries, Scotland

This evening, I am posting information on Caerlaverock Castle near Dumfries and the Solway Firth, on the Scottish side of the England-Scotland border. Distance is about ninety-four miles south of Glasgow and thirty-two miles north-west of Carlisle.

This castle is important to members of Clan Maxwell.

Foundations of the first castle at Caerlaverock

In fact, there are two castles at Caerlaverock. Visitors can view foundations of the first castle which has its origins around 950 and was occupied until around 1220. Then, motivated by flooding and inadequate space, the controlling Maxwell family built and moved into a spectacular new castle nearby where they remained until 1640. It is this ‘new’ castle which is the principal visitor attraction today.

Medieval carving at caerlaverock Castle, Dumfries

Caerlaverock Castle, Dumfries, Scotland

Caerlaverock Castle, Dumfries, Scotland

The key features of the ‘new’ castle are:

-Unique, triangular shape sitting in a water filled moat.
-Featured in the Scottish Wars of Independence conflict with England.
-Entrance flanked by two great towers dating from the 13th century.
-Courtyard.
-Maxwell lodging in upper floors of the gatehouse provided high status accommodation.
-Spacious, new lodgings built in early 17th century, known as the Nithsdale Lodgings. At this time the countryside was less prone to warfare.
-Murdoch’s Tower and West Range.
-West and East curtain walls.

The first part of the name, ‘Caer’ means military camp or fort. The full name could mean ‘fort of the skylark’ or ‘elm fort’.

Video clips of Caerlaverock Castle

A stunning and romantic edifice situated in a pretty, nature conservation area with ancient woodland. Managed by Historic Scotland. Refreshment facilities and museum on site.

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