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Caerlaverock Castle

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Caerlaverock Castle is situated 8 miles south of Dumfries, 22 miles west of Gretna, on the B725 road.

The Castle can be visited 1 April - 30 September every day 9.30 am to 5.30 pm, and 1 October - 31 March every day 9.30 am to 4.30 pm. Small charge to enter. Postcode: DG1 4RU

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Caerlaverock Castle is a triangular shaped Castle built in the 1200s for the Maxwell family. It has a moat all around and is next to the vast Solway Firth body of water, that also helped protect the Castle. The area by the Castle at the Solway is now a Nature Reserve.

The Castle has a visitor centre with a small shop, cafe, and museum with a film about the siege of Caerlaverock Castle in 1300, also period costumes to dress up in for photos.

Caerlaverock Castle History

1220 - Alexander II of Scotland granted these lands to Sir John Maxwell, leading to one of the first stone Castles to be built in the area.

That square Castle may not have been completed, as work on the present Castle began soon after on a more secure spot a short distance north. Little remains of the original Castle.

1270s - Caerlaverock Castle was completed for Sir Aymer Maxwel.

1296 – 1328 - the Scottish Wars of Independence are fought, involving most Scottish Clans and Castles.

1299 - soldiers from Caerlaverock Castle attacked Lochmaben Castle, 17 miles north, which was under control of English forces.

1300 July - King Edward I of England led a mighty army against Caerlaverock Castle. 60 men inside the Castle managed to hold out for a number of days before being forced to surrender.

The Castle was damaged and changed hands a number of times during the Scottish Wars of Independence.

1373 to 1410 - Sir Robert Maxwell rebuilt much of the Castle.

1450s? - the Gatehouse was reconstructed.

1567 - the Catholic Maxwell's fought for Mary, Queen of Scots after her forced abdication.

1570 - Caerlaverock was besieged and extensively damaged by an English Protestant force.

1593 - John, 8th Lord Maxwell, repaired the Castle so it could be used for defense against their neighbour's and long time enemy, the Johnstones of Annandale.

1593 - the 8th Lord Maxwell was killed by the Johnstones during a fight at Dryfe Sands by Lockerbie 17 miles north.

1602 to 1605 - the 9th Lord Maxwell killed a number of Johnstones until peace was agreed between the two Clans.

1619 - Robert, 10th Lord Maxwell, was created Earl of Nithsdale and appointed to the Privy Council of Scotland.

1630s - Robert had Nithsdale Lodge built inside the castle with a reanaissance facade, and intricate carvings.

1640 - Caerlaverock Castle was captured and partially destroyed by a Protestant Covenanter army after a 13 week siege.

The Castle was never repaired or lived in from that time.

1946 - Caerlaverock Castle was taken over by Historic Environment Scotland to serve as a visitor attraction.

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