Caerlaverock Castle

A perfect ruin!

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When the glow of the afternoon sun warms the standstone of Caerlaverock Castle, it’s hard to imagine a more impressive fortification.

It’s filled moat and imposing gatehouse are particularly fine – and all the more so considering they’re of 13th-century vintage.

Edward I laid the castle to siege in 1300, and it was seriously battered again in 1312 (though by Scots rather than the English), and again in 1356-7.

So it’s fair to say there’s been a lot of rebuilding over time, but there have also been various improvements based on fashion: in the 1630s the incumbent Earl of Nithsdale its interior received an ornate Renaissance facade, which included all sorts of mythological scenes.

But within six years of the work’s completion a thirteen-week siege by the Covenanters forced Nithsdale’s surrender and made him watch as the castle was reduced to its present state. No-one has lived in it since.

Today, the castle is fun to look around, while a visitor centre provides background info and is strong on stuff for kids to do.

You can also pick up info on local walks that fan out from here – one goes to the earthworks of an earlier castle.

At A Glance

Caerlaverock Castle
Glencaple Dumfries and Galloway DG1 4RU
Adult £5.50, Child £3.30, Concession £4.40

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