Caerlaverock Castle

Posted on: September 25th, 2014

Over the coming weeks I plan to occasionally write about some of my favourite places to be. As an Architect it is difficult to switch off from work mode even when you are just out and about. I sometimes go into the supermarket and look at the  height and shape of the shelves and ask myself why are they like that and who thought that was good design? Or I go to the theatre and marvel at how the queue for the ladies is far longer than the gents and wonder whether that is down to design or the speed with which we use them!

Anyway, one of the places I love to explore are castles and this one in particular is extremely unusual. This is Caerlaverock Castle which is one of Scotland’s great medieval fortresses. For 400 years it has stood on the very edge of Dumfries. To the south, across the Solway Firth, lay England. For most of its history, Caerlaverock played an important role in the defence of the realm.

Caerlaverock’s triangular shape is quite unique among British castles. It is not known why it was built this way. When we walked around the castle we had an incredible sense of its strength. Thickness of the walls are incredible, built layer on layer to create impenetrable strength. The north tower, facing into Scotland, is a mightily impressive twin-towered gatehouse. It stands proud and strong in the landscape. An inspiring and totally unique place to visit.