of Scotland, Caerlaverock Castle
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.
Places To Visit In This Region Of Scotland Include:
Victorian red-brick houses
over-look banks of River Annan, where anglers try for salmon and
trout. Dismantled railway, now over-grown, once led to bridge
across Solway Firth. Locally born historian, Thomas Carlyle, taught
at Annan Academy in the 19th century.
Network of ditches and
huge bank remain from Iron Age hill-fort, built on narrow ridge
between Annandale and Nithsdale.
Narrow road leads to
top of Beattock Hill. Iron Age fort lies near summit, with extensive
views over Annandale. In days of steam, trains laboured to climb
dramatic 10 mile incline of Beattock Bank.
Steep footpath leads
to cave above Kirtle Water where, according to legend, Robert
Bruce hid from the English invaders in 1306 and, inspired by a
spider trying again and again to spin its web, carried on his
struggle for independence.
Iron Age defences extend
17 acres on windswept hilltop, looking out to Solway Firth and
Cumbrian coast. Remains of two Roman siege camps on opposite hillside
date from AD 155, and small Roman fort dates from AD 140.
Triangular fortress on
shore of Solway Firth has mysterious origins. Built during 1290s,
but whether by English or Scots is unknown. Largely destroyed
1320, rebuilt a few years later and demolished again by Scots
in 1357. Pink-sandstone gatehouse survives from castle rebuilt
15th century, reduced to ruins in 1640. Finely carved panels remain
from mansion added to building in 1630s by Robert Maxwell, 1st
Earl of Nithsdale.
Barnacle geese from Spitzbergen
and large flocks of pink-footed and greylag geese make this 13,000
acre area of salt marsh and foreshore a notable bird sanctuary.
Wild ducks and waders haunt creeks and reed banks. Hides and observation
Hall, dungeons and fine bedrooms create medieval atmosphere in
15th-century castle on Scottish border. Picnic area and nature
trail in surrounding woodland.
Scottish Baronial mansion,
19th-century, houses Craigcleuch collection of curiosities found
by early Scottish explorers, including carved coral and ivory,
African sculptures, Chinese jade animals, prehistoric ornaments
and implements. Set in parkland overlooking Esk valley, with views
north between 'Gates of Eden' hills.
River Annan flows down
this 500ft deep hollow among four barrett hills which look, according
to Sir Walter Scott in his novel Red-gauntlet, 'as if they were
laying their heads together to shut out the daylight from the
dark hollow space between them'.
Ruins of stout 16th-century
tower stand by northern shores of St Mar/s loch. Once home of
Mary Scott, ancestor of Sir Walter Scott.
Historian Thomas Carlyle
born 1795in 'Arched House' built by his father and uncle, master
masons. Restored as in his day, containing papers and personal
Hamlet lying at foot
of Eskdale hills. A 300-year-old bell hangs in churchyard tree;
put there for safety when old church was demolished, stayed when
the new church was built 1867. Fine views of Ewes Water and Teviotdale.
Road and waymarked walks
wind through woods and hills thick with grass or bracken, some-times
under trees bent over to meet one another. Picnic site beside
stream fringed by spruce and alder.
Village close to the
border with England where runaway couples could seek quick marriages
under easygoing Scottish law at the old tollhouse or smithy, until
the custom was banned in 1940. Old Blacksmith's Shop, where wed-dings
were performed by an 'anvil priest', now a museum.
Path leads to foot of
this spectacular 200ft waterfall formed by Tail Burn dropping
from Loch Skene to join Moffat Water. Area rich in wild flowers
has herd of wild goats.
Sturdy 16th-century watchtower
built by John Maxwell stands on hill above site of 16th-century
tower castle. Visitor centre is start of riverside and woodland
Thriving mills surround
this textile centre where River Esk meets Wanchope Water and Ewes
Water; spanned by several bridges. Narrow, twisting streets of
old part contrast with 18th-century houses of 'new' town across
river. Ruined peel tower was home to the Armstrong family, ancestors
of astronaut Neil Armstrong -- first man on the moon.
Nature reserve surrounds
the creeper-clad ruins of a 14th-century castle, reputed birthplace
of Robert Bruce. Both James IV and Mary, Queen of Scots visited
castle. Look for greylag and pink-footed geese in Castle and High-tae
lochs. Statue near the town hail recalls local man William Paterson,
co-founder of Bank of England in 1694.
Picturesque valley transformed
in 1983 by reservoir, stocked with trout. Picnic areas with good
viewpoints. Visitors can walk along top of dam.
symbolized by ram statue in high street. Spring discovered 1633
made it popular spa. Robert Burns among those who came to take
waters. Baths Hall of 1827 now town hall. Local crafts thrive
at woollen mill.
Resort created late 1700s
at mouth of Pow Water. Sand yachting on beach. Golf course. Kinmount
gardens with lakeside walks and resident geese.
Manor with Palladian
frontage built 1760 for Dr James Mounsey, physician to Tsarina
Elizabeth of Russia. Annandale views, picnic site, woodland walks
Church has late 7th-century
cross, 18ft high, carved with figures and runic verses from Anglo-Saxon
poem The Dream of the Rood; possibly written by Caedmon, a 7th-century
monk and poet from Whitby in Yorkshire. Small museum commemorates
Henry Duncan in cottage where he founded Scottish Savings Bank.
Displays include bank archives p.' and room settings of late 18th
and early 19th centuries.
Sailing and angling centre.
Statue of local poet James Hogg (1770-1835) stands above Tibbie
Shiels Inn. Single-track road to beauty spot of Talla Reservoir.
Shell of church lies
above River Annan. Mungo was 6th-century 'Apostle of Strathclyde'
who became Glasgow's patron saint.
Recalls engineer Thomas
Telford, born 1757. As an apprentice he , worked on the bridge
at nearby Langholm.
Hamlet with a churchyard
memorial marking mass grave of border outlaw Johnnie Armstrong
and 36 of his men, sent to gallows with-out trial by James V,
This 15th-century fortress
of the Kirkpatricks and later Carlyles is an unsafe ruin. View
it from road.
Good walking country
where Talla Water meets Tweed. Church built in 1874 has war memorial
from oak tree planted 100 years earlier by writer Sic Walter Scott.
Covenantor's stone of 1685 lies in the churchyard.