Caerlaverock Castle, Dumfries

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Caerlaverock Castle is a moated triangular castle first built in the 13th century. It is located on the southern coast of Scotland, south of Dumfries, on the edge of the Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve. Caerlaverock was a stronghold of the Maxwell family from the 13th century until the 17th century when the castle was abandoned. It was besieged by the English during the Wars of Scottish Independence, and underwent several partial demolitions and reconstructions over the 14th and 15th centuries. In the 17th century, the Maxwells were created Earls of Nithsdale, and built a new lodging within the walls, described as among "the most ambitious early classical domestic architecture in Scotland". In 1640 the castle was besieged for the last time and was subsequently abandoned. Although demolished and rebuilt several times, the castle retains the distinctive triangular plan first laid out in the 13th century. Caerlaverock Castle was built to control trade in early times.Today, the castle is in the care of Historic Scotland and is a popular tourist attraction. It is protected as a scheduled monument, and as a category A listed building.OwnershipThe history of its builders can be traced to Undwin and his son Maccus in the 11th century; Maccus gave his name to the barony of Maccuswell, or Maxwell. His grandson, John de Maccuswell (d. 1241), was first Lord Maxwell of Caerlaverock. The Baronies of Maxwell and Caerlaverock then passed down through the male line, sometimes collaterally. Robert de Maxwell of Maxwell, Caerlaverock and Mearns (d. 1409) rebuilt Caerlaverock castle and was succeeded by Herbert Maxwell of Caerlaverock (d. 1420)
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4.7
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  • August 21, 2017
    nice old castle 1/2 hour to hour small playground can walk in grounds. castle small but well kept very nice informative.  more »
  • August 18, 2017
    Well worth a visit, great for kids. Easy to read information about the castle and life in it through the ages . Great choice of delicious food available in the tea rooms.  more »
  • August 17, 2017
    Caerlaverock Castle is a ruin, but despite that you can give your imagination free rein. Predominately to the children who visit the Castle. The Green, hilly forecourt is already challenging, let alone the ruin itself. Sufficient to children long to enjoy, especially if the weather more works. Around the Castle you can good hiking in the nature area near and the Castle forests. challenging so. The front desk gives a lot of information and you will find your drink and a bite to eat.
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  • Fantastic campsite. One off the best . Can't recommend it enough. Quiet, peaceful, great toilet 'shed' and not a neighbour in sight. Thank you so much, we will be back. PS your car is no distance away by the way. Never heard such moaning!
  • Enjoyed touring the grounds of the ruins of this old castle. Enough is preserved to experience a sense of how it must have been. The exhibition center had a few activities for children and an interesting video with some of the castle's history.
  • What a lovely visit. We visited the castle as we had driven to Dumfries to get a few things and were not disappointed. It's a lovely castle with great parking and very friendly staff. The story of the castle is fascinating and offers a lot of options for both old and young. There is a lovely video that explains how 60 people defended the castle against the army of the English king Edward. The castle grounds are great and the castle is spectacular. There are loads of different rooms to explore and try to get a feeling for the lifestyle of that time. You have to be a bit careful with the stairs depending on where you are going up. If you follow the path to the left of the castle you can visit the site of the first castle grounds. All in all it was a very enjoyable visit.
  • Absolutely Gorgeous. The castle itself is very nice, wonderful to walk around, and if you get good light then it is incredible. I recommend the tea room as well, the cakes are great, and the scones highly recommended.
  • Unlike a lot of 'ruined' castles, this still has the majority of the original outline/walls etc so you get a good chance to wander through it

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Where to stay in Dumfries

As Dumfries is just a small city within the Dumfries and Galloway region, the city itself is somewhat limited on places to stay. You'll find a handful of mid-range to high-end hotels in the city--if you're intent on being based in Dumfries, it's best to book early to avoid disappointment. Otherwise, there are plenty of options in nearby cities and towns such as Sanquhar, Lockerbie, Auchencairn, and Thornhill.
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