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Caerlaverock Castle, Dumfries
(4.6/5 based on 500+ reviews on the web)
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Over the moat on the drawbridge you're free to roam the castle. There are no live guides in evidence in the castle but each area has an explanatory information plaque. Perhaps buy a guidebook at the s...  more »
  • We visited this castle & grounds a few weeks ago. Very picturesque especially with the filled moat. I am not very mobile so couldn't climb inside the castle but enjoyed what I saw. Pretty well kept gr...  more »
  • A piece of Scottish history but not really that impressive. The best part is the filled moat but to be honest we'd seen the interior in about 10 minutes. We could have walked on further to see the old...  more »
Google
  • One of its kind, it's got so much to view and explore. It's great for the kids and has a wooden park also a walk at the back of the grounds . Highly recommend this place.
  • Great little castle. Really fun place to explore. Lots of information arround which is really good. Coffee shop was good and staff were friendly.
  • Great experience, amazing history! Slightly over priced but well worth it. Staff friendly and helpful. Very informative with the education centre and signs around the site.
  • Beautiful castle and surroundings. The remains of an older castle are down the track to the left of the castle, through the trees to the rear and are well worth a look.
  • Very interesting place to visit and some great walks around the grounds and local wildfowl marshes