where the unique balance of agriculture, wildfowling and conservation brings people and wildlife together for the benefit of both."
Visitors to Caerlaverock are sure to enjoy exploring our castle - one of Scotland's great medieval fortresses. Its location, its imposing sandstone walls, its moat and unique triangular shape rank it as one of the most powerful looking castles in Scotland and yet it retains a certain, almost delicate and unrivalled charm.
Caerlaverock Castle was built for a very definite purpose. For 400 years it stood at the edge of the Solway Firth, on the southernmost edge of its Scottish kingdom, a fastness on the frontier, surely built primarily for the defence of its realm.
It was preceded by a Roman fort, then by a second fort which stood close by on Ward Law (hill) in around 950. This was named 'Karlauerock' and was built by British Lords.
In 1220 Alexander 11 needed to strengthen his defences on the Scottish marches and granted what had become his estate in the south west to Sir John Maccuswell (Maxwell). The castle changed hands numerous times over centuries of strife but the Maxwell lords mostly retained ownership for the next 400 years before it passed through inheritance into the Herries family and to the Dukes of Norfolk. In 1946 it was passed over to the state by the 16th Duke of Norfolk and although currently owned by Lady Mary Mumford's sister Baroness Herries, it is now operated and managed by Historic Scotland.
Today the castle which is still awe inspiring to look at, is open to the public and is widely used as a venue for all sorts of events and celebrations. There are regular siege warfare exhibitions, a children's adventure park, a café and shop which are open all year round as well as a nature trail which connects with other walking routes created by the estate. Visitors are welcome to enjoy exploring the castle and discovering much more about its ancient past.
For full details on the castle go to www.historic-scotland.gov.uk