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Caerlaverock Castle


Tour Caerlaverock Castle

Caerlaverock Castle was built by the powerful Maxwell family in the late 13th century. The eastern Solway had alternated between English and Scottish rule until the end of the 12th century, when it finally came under the influence of the Normans. Then King Edward I, known as 'Hammer of Scots', imposed English rule and triggered the Wars of Independence. In 1300, Caerlaverock became the focus of Edward's wrath and he laid siege with an army of 87 knights and 3000 soldiers. Once the siege engines arrived, the castle soon surrendered. Edward died nearby in 1307 - a monument in Burgh Marsh marks the spot. After winning Scottish independence in 1314, Robert the Bruce ordered that all border strongholds, including Caerlaverock, must be destroyed to prevent them being used by an invading English army.

Two hundred years later, the rebuilt castle withstood the attention of an invading English army led by James V who defeated the Scots at the 'Battle of the Solway Moss'. After the Union of the Crowns in 1603, the two kingdoms were finally united under his son. However, the English-Scottish truce broke down in 1640 and during that summer, Caerlaverock was besieged for 13 weeks by a Scottish army of Covenanters. After its surrender, the Covenanters partially dismantled the castle and it fell into decay, having stood guard over the Solway Firth for over 400 years.

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