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Caerlaverock Castle

The beautiful and evocative triangular shaped Caerlaverock Castle was one of Scotland’s strongest and most attacked Medieval Castles. Today  its stunning beauty and fantastic double moat structure brings visitors from across the world to this incredible site.

The Castle’s turbulent history owes much to its position on the Solway with England clearly visible across the water. By around 950AD, the British lords of ‘Karlauerock’ (’fort of the skylark’) had built a fort on the site and when the Castle was built in the 13th Century it became a stronghold of the powerful local Maxwell family.

 

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THE MYSTERY OF TWO CASTLES

In 1220, King Alexander II of Scotland granted the lands around Wardlaw to Sir John Maxwell who built the ‘old’ Caerlaverock Castle. Within 50 years, his nephew, Sir Herbert, had built the present structure only 200m away to the north of the original castle The original castle was square in shape and was one of the earliest stone castles to be built in Scotland. It had a moat but today only the foundations and remains of a wooden enclosure around it remain. The mystery of why two castles were built in such a short time period is probably explained by the fact that the original castle was completely abandoned due to flooding in favour of the majestic new triangular Caerlaverock Castle.

Caerlaverock was besieged and captured on numerous occasions. In July 1300 the most famous siege actually involved King Edward I of England in person when he brought the full might of his army to bear on the stronghold. The Maxwells, under their chief Sir Eustace Maxwell, made a vigorous defence which repelled the English several times.

In the end the garrison were compelled to surrender, after which it was found that only sixty men had withstood the whole English army for a considerable period.

Another major siege near the end of the life of Caerlaverock as an inhabited castle took place in 1640. It was brought about by Lord Maxwell’s adherence to Charles I in that monarch’s struggles with the Covenanters. On that occasion the garrison held out for 13 weeks before surrendering. Following the siege, the castle was stripped of all its valuable fixtures and fittings, and the great south curtain wall was demolished to render the building almost useless as a place of defence.

Although demolished and rebuilt several times, the castle retains the distinctive triangular plan first laid out in the 13th century. The iconic Castle  is considered a must see for any visitor to Scotland with some incredible countryside and coastline immediately outside its moats.

 

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Mark and Lesley guided us around some fascinating sites within the region, some of which we did not know were there - even as locals!  The day was informative, relaxed and a great way to see around the wonderful, beautiful part of the world that we live in.

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The history, scenery and culture of Southern Scotland needs to be told and Lesley and Mark offer a fantastic balance of story telling and insightful knowledge of the area.

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The Scottish Borders
📹 St Mary's Loch, Talla & Megget Reservoirs by Marcin Kowalewczany

🏞️ St Mary's Loch is the largest natural loch in the Scottish Borders, and is situated on the A708 road between Selkirk and Moffat, about 45 miles south of Edinburgh.

It is 3.1 miles long and 0.62 miles wide, and was created by glacial action during the last ice age.

🌊 The loch is fed by the Megget Water, which flows in from the Megget Reservoir, and is the source of the Yarrow Water, which flows east from the loch to merge with the Ettrick Water above Selkirk.

⛪ The loch takes its name from a church dedicated to St Mary which once stood on its northern shore, although only the burial ground is now visible ✝️

📚 Local legend has it that the loch has no bottom, and it is reputed to be the coldest loch in Scotland ❄️

Immediately upstream from St Mary's Loch is the smaller Loch of the Lowes.

Between the two is Tibbie Shiel's Inn, an 18th-century coaching inn, which was frequented by the Border poet James Hogg (1770–1835) ✍🏻

👤 A statue of Hogg is located close to the inn.

🚶The Southern Upland Way and Sir Walter Scott Way long-distance walking routes both pass the shores of the loch 🗺️

Talla Reservoir, located a mile from Tweedsmuir, Scottish Borders, Scotland, is an earth-work dam fed by Talla Water. The reservoir is supplemented by water from the nearby Fruid Reservoir.

ℹ️ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Mary%27s_Loch & en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talla_Reservoir

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 #ScottishBorders
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The history, scenery and culture of Southern Scotland needs to be told and Lesley and Mark offer a fantastic balance of story telling and insightful knowledge of the area.

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