Caerlaverock Castle guidebooks

1975 (8th impression)
1975 (8th impression)

Caerlaverock Castle must be one of my favourite castles: perhaps alongside Nunney Castle in Somerset. Caerlaverock’s triangular shape, and the setting within a moat add to its setting.

Parts of the castle date back to the late 13th century. It was besieged by Edward I in 1300. The housing inside the castle was constructed in the 17th century.

The castle was placed int the guardianship of the Ministry of Works in 1946.

The official guide by B.H. St John O’Neil was prepared in 1952 (my copy is the 1975 edition). It contains a detailed history (pp. 2-9) followed by a description (pp. 10-16). A series of plans, black and white photographs, and a reconstruction by Alan Sorrell appear in the centre section. O’Neil describes it was ‘one of the most impressive castles of Britain’.


The Historic Scotland Official Souvenir Guide by Doreen Grove and Peter Yeoman was first published in 2995, with a revised edition in 2006. This is a fully illustrated guide, with a Guided Tour followed by the History, with special features on the siege of 1300, and the castle and the wars with England. The guide claims it as ‘one of Scotland’s great medieval fortresses’.

Author: David Gill

David Gill is Honorary Professor in the Centre for Heritage at the University of Kent, and Honorary Research Fellow in the School of History and an Academic Associate in SISJAC at UEA; Professor of Archaeological Heritage.

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