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Siege and storm strike at Caerlaverock

9 May 2011

17th century military might takes centre stage at castle's two-day family event.

The dramatic backdrop of Caerlaverock Castle near Dumfries provides the setting on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th May for an exciting family event which brings to life the turbulent times and combat clashes of 17th-century Scotland.

The year is 1640 and the imposing medieval stronghold is being besieged and stormed as part of the struggle for religious freedom in the country.  Step back in time to visit an authentic military camp, watch the assault on the castle walls and witness the skill and strength required to wield and use the mighty weaponry of the day – pikes, muskets, swords and cannons.

Caerlaverock’s colourful two-day Siege and Storm event, which runs from 12 noon to 4pm on both days, features a costumed cast and an action-packed programme of performances, displays and demonstrations.  And all of the entertainment is included in the castle’s normal admission price, with tickets costing £5.50 for an adult, £4.40 for a concession and £3.30 for a child.  Entry is free to Historic Scotland members.  

Gillian Urquhart of Historic Scotland Events Team said: “Visitors are in for a real treat courtesy of the members of the highly talented Fraser’s Dragoones re-enactment group.  They always put on a superb show and Caerlaverock is a particularly good venue for historic performances – it’s stunning and so atmospheric so everyone coming along can look forward to a really great day out.”

Notes for Editors

  • Caerlaverock Castle is 8 miles south-east of Dumfries on the B725. Postcode DG1 4RU.  Tel: 01387 770244.

  • With its moat, twin-towered gatehouse, and imposing battlements, Caerlaverock is the epitome of a medieval stronghold.  The castle’s turbulent history owes much to its proximity to England, which brought it into numerous border conflicts over the years.

  • The castle was built by the Maxwell family, who enjoyed peaceful prosperity there until the invasion of Scotland by Edward I. Caerlaverock became a target for Edward’s wrath against Scots resistance and, in 1300, Lord Maxwell was forced to surrender to the might of the besieging army. The castle remained caught up in border disputes for many years afterward and peace did not come until James VI’s accession to the English throne in 1603.  The truce collapsed with the 1640 Civil War and the final siege at Caerlaverock came when the Royalists surrendered to the Covenanters.

  • Caerlaverock Castle is just one of 345 outstanding heritage properties and sites in the care of Historic Scotland.  Ranging from prehistoric dwellings to medieval castles, and from cathedrals to industrial buildings, these include some of the leading tourism attractions in the country. Among the most popular are Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart Castles, Skara Brae, and the Border Abbeys.  For further details of all of Historic Scotland’s sites visit:

  • Historic Scotland’s Mission is: to safeguard Scotland’s historic environment and to promote its understanding and enjoyment.

For further information, interviews and images

Ellen Drummond Ferroni
07801 820757 or 0131 668 8731