Caerlaverock Castle is the epitome of a medieval stronghold, with its twin towered gatehouse, imposing battlements, and a moat. It is also unique among British castles for its triangular shape. It was completed in the 1270s close to the site of earlier stone-built castle that was soon abandoned as it often flooded due to the marshy terrain of the Solway Firth.
As a consequence of its close proximity to the border with England it has something of a turbulent history. It has endured a handful of sieges over several centuries, none more notable than the first in 1300 when the small garrison held out against Edward I and the full force of the King’s army for two days. A contemporary account of the siege, The Roll of Caerlaverock, details the participants who took part in the campaign. The final siege took place in 1640. It lasted 13 weeks as the castle’s Catholic owner Lord Maxwell struggled with Protestant Covenanters. After its fall the castle was slighted to prevent further use as a fortification.