Caerlaverock Castle, Dumfries

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.
The 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)
To visit Caerlaverock Castle on your holiday in Dumfries, and find out what else Dumfries has to offer, use our Dumfries road trip app .
Source
Create an itinerary including Caerlaverock Castle
map
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors
Caerlaverock Castle Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
961 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • I recommend it to all those who love old castles with a beautiful park with a historic past. On the "nature path" of the park, you can get interesting knowledge by using headphones.
    View original
  • We have very fond memories and always will of this castle. It is our 10 year anniversary this year and we visit every 2/3 years. We came back with our 3 children who loved exploring the castle. We wer...  more »
Google
  • Absolutely a unique castle ! The front area is amazing for a photograph. I actually loved this castle. They have a museum in the back for children. Very well kept and really first class. It kept my attention ! There is a quick walk to the rear of the castle. It is really a nice area for a walk. They have a gift shop and small cafe. We stayed longer than what we planned on but it was well worth the stay, cost.
  • Outstanding. The castle and its history are fascinating but it is the efforts taken to ensure that Caerlaverock appeals to both young and old that really sets it apart from the rest. Upon arrival we were advised to download an Augmented Reality App (using the free WiFi) and it was a revelation. Our children were kept fully engaged in every moment of our visit where usually their interest would wane before the adults had had their fill.
  • Build a plan

    Tell us where and when you
    want to go, we will build
    the best sightseeing itinerary
  • Refine it

    You have complete flexibility on your destinations and itinerary
  • Book as a package

    Use our travel agents to get
    package savings and hassle free booking
  • Enjoy your trip!

    Enjoy our 24x7
    on-trip assistance

Popular things to do in Dumfries

View all >
4.6
Duration: 2​h 30​min
4.6
Duration: 2​h
4.3
Duration: 2​h
5.0
Duration: 2​h

Side trips from Dumfries

4.9
Duration: 2​h
4.7
Duration: 2​h
4.7
Duration: 2​h 30​min
5.0
Duration: 2​h 30​min

Hidden gems in Dumfries

4.6
Duration: 2​h
5.0
Duration: 1​h 30​min
4.6
Duration: 2​h

Museums in Dumfries

4.4
Duration: 2​h
4.5
Duration: 30​min
4.3
Duration: 1​h 30​min

Parks in Dumfries

4.5
Duration: 2​h
4.0
Duration: 2​h

Nearby attractions in Dumfries

2.3
Duration: 2​h
3.9
Duration: 2​h
4.3
Duration: 2​h
4.5
Duration: 4​h