Friday, June 03, 2005

You twisted my arm...

So, Kate wants to know more about Caerlaverock. How can I refuse?

It was the residence of the Maxwell's, a power on the Scottish border for a looong time. Originally they built another castle nearer the shore in the 1220s, but made the slightly obvious mistake of building it on a marsh. Anyone else getting Monty Python Holy Grail moments? HUGE tracts of land...

It was noisome, too close to the docks, and ultimately too small. In the 1270s, the 'new' Castle was built a few hundred yards away. It's a moated castle, and triangular, and even on the larger site it's quite crammed - no open bailey inside.

In the Wars of Independence it looks like the Maxwells flipped a coin each month to decide whether to fight on the Scottish or English sides. They swore allegiance to Edward I (Hip-hip-HUZZAH!) but soon changed sides again, and 1300 found the castle under seige. It didn't last long - after some work with trebuchets (there's a fab replica at the castle today) they surrendered little more than a day later.

They lost John, the fourth lord, and three of his brothers at Flodden in 1513, but the family continued, the fifth lord becoming Regent of Scotland when James V was away. The held to the Catholic faith through the sixteenth century, building a wonderful tudor palace within the walls of the castle. They dabbled with intrigue and invasion, but in 1640 they surrounded the castle to the Covenanters, who dismantled it to make it indefensible.

And yes, Biddy. We can go visit.

The Nithsdale Lodging Posted by Hello

A triangular moated castle Posted by Hello


At 10:01 am, Anonymous Kate Hardy said...

Thanks, Anna - really interesting. I had no idea you could get triangular castles! (Not many castles at all in my part of the world...)

At 12:06 pm, Blogger Anna Lucia said...

You know, I don't think I've ever seen another triangular castle... but I'm sure there must be one somewhere.

You're welcome. Any time you're up this end of the world I can do you a castles tour... ;-)


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