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.
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
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.
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
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
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
The castle was damaged and changed hands a
number of times during the Scottish Wars of
1373 to 1410 - Sir Robert Maxwell rebuilt
much of the castle.
1450s? - the gatehouse was
1567 - the Catholic Maxwell's fought for
Mary, Queen of Scots after her forced
1570 - Caerlaverock was besieged and
extensively damaged by an English Protestant
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 Covenanters
army after a 13 week siege.
The castle was never repaired or lived in
from that time.
1946 - Caerlaverock Castle is taken over by
Historic Environment Scotland to serve as a