Caerlaverock Castle, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

Caerlaverock Castle

We visited Caerlaverock Castle when we were in Dumfries and Galloway in May. It’s a great castle ruin with a very unusual shape, triangular which I suppose is a good shape for defensive reasons. It also has a proper moat. I know that if I had lived in a castle in those days I would have wanted a moat so that I didn’t have to worry about people scaling the walls during the night. If your drawbridge was up – it was safe to go to sleep!

Caerlaverock Castle

Building work started on this castle in the 1260s and it was finished in the 1270s, but this is the ‘new’ castle as the old one just 200 yards away was abandoned because it began to sink. It was built in 1220 and if you go you should make time to visit what is left of it, just the foundations really, but it’s still interesting.

Caerlaverock Castle
Below is a photo of part of the castle from the inside.
Caerlaverock Castle

As Caerlaverock is so close to the border with England it was often attacked and besieged. With the English king Edward 1 (Hammer of the Scots) attacking the castle in 1300 with over 3,000 men and using siege engines serious damage must have been done to the walls at that time. The castle changed hand many times over the years between Scotland and England. Most of the castle that can be seen today dates from the 1300s and 1400s.
The countryside around that area is quite pretty, in the photo below you can see that there must have been buildings where there is now grass. That will be even more obvious now that we’ve had such a long spell of hot dry weather.
view  from Caerlaverock
I think this is one of my favourite ruined castles. Just imagine how atmospheric it would as darkness falls on a moonlit night, or even in the gloaming (twilight).

Caerlaverock Castle

You can see more images of Caerlaverock Castle here.

6 thoughts on “Caerlaverock Castle, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

  1. I agree with you that this is a scrumptious ruined castle. The kind that dreams (and nightmares) are made of. The countryside is so beautiful and lush, and you had such a beautiful day to visit. When, exactly, did you visit here?

  2. Fascinating to speculate on what the terrain may have looked like nearly eight hundred years ago when these buildings were being constructed. I’m not surprised the earlier castle began to sink – the ground looks very boggy, so close to the River Nith.
    I wonder where they sourced the building stone from?
    The triangular shape is a most elegant form!

    • Valerie,
      Most castles and even big churches were close to rivers because travelling by boat was the easiest way to get around. Sometimes over the years the river has changed course a bit and what was river is now just boggy most of the time. I suspect that the stone was quarried fairly near by, but again it might have been transported on boats too.

    • Joan,
      Thanks, that might have been one of Jack’s though. Often we don’t remember who took which photos. I would definitely have been the director though!

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