Caerlaverock Castle is situated 8 miles south of
Dumfries, 22 miles west of Gretna, on the
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
Map / DG1 4RU .
Area Click On Map . 45 Large Images .
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 area.
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 castle.
1270s - Caerlaverock Castle was completed for Sir
1296 – 1328 - the Scottish Wars of Independence
are fought, involving most Scottish clans and
1299 - soldiers from Caerlaverock Castle attacked
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 surrender.
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
1450s? - the gatehouse was reconstructed.
1567 - the Catholic Maxwell's fought for Mary,
Queen of Scots after her forced abdication.
1570 - Caerlaverock was besieged and extensively
damaged by an English Protestant force.
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
1593 - the 8th Lord Maxwell was killed by the
Johnstones during a fight at Dryfe Sands by Lockerbie 17 miles
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
1630s - Robert had Nithsdale Lodge built inside
the castle with a reanaissance facade, and intricate
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
1946 - Caerlaverock Castle is taken over by
Historic Environment Scotland to serve as a visitor