I find it hard to believe it's been almost nine years since my husband and I travelled to Scotland. For my husband, it was the first trip back to his homeland in thirty-two-years. For me, it was the first trip to the destination of my dreams.
I remember my excitement - I started the countdown a year before our departure date, so had plenty of time for my anticipation to build:) - and armed with my new camera - analogue back then - I took many amazing photos. I'd like to share a few of them with you, along with a little history on things I found fascinating. Please sit back and enjoy ~
We crossed the Border into Scotland on a bright Summer's day ~
Heading west we came upon Gretna Green's Blacksmith's Cottage where many couples still get married ~
We continued on and then...that's when I realised I was no longer dreaming. That's when I laid eyes on my very first real, live Scottish castle -
CAERLAVEROCK CASTLE SCOTLAND
The gatehouse entrance with its two great drum towers.
Isn't she lovely?
I was in AWE! I took a ridiculous amount of photos - I think we have at least a dozen identical shots to the one above - I refuse to take full responsibility in this matter for my husband stole my new camera from me and took an even more ridiculous amount of photos:)
As you can imagine, Caerlaverock Castle has since held a special place in my heart. Not only because it was the first real, live Scottish castle I ever saw, but because of its formidable beauty and its timeless strength.
Please allow me to share a little history about this medieval fortress ~
THE STORY OF THE CASTLE ~ THE HOUSE OF MAXWELL.
The family appear on record in the early twelfth century in Roxburghshire when Maccus, son of Undwin was granted lands by the king. But it was the estate granted to Maccus's grandson, Sir John De Maccuswell, at Caerlaverock about 1220 which was soon adopted as the principal seat of the family and stayed as such for the next four hundred years.
Sir John built the original castle which was situated in the woods to the south of the present castle. Occupied for a short time due to being built too close to the salt marshes of the Solway Firth, only the grassy earthen mound and the occasional stretch of stonework are visible now. The new castle was built 200 meters to the north, more securely founded on rock.
Caerlaverock Castle From The Air ~ Surrounding the castle are two moats, the outer one now dry, but the inner moat still has a good amount of water lapping at the walls and towers.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia
Due to its position so close to the Border and with the constant power struggle between England and Scotland, Caerlaverock withstood several sieges and underwent numerous rebuilding's from 1300 until 1640. Depending on its keeper's allegiances, Caerlaverock wavered between being known as an English stronghold or a Scottish stronghold.
Caerlaverock Ruins and Inner Moat
Caerlaverock Inner Court - the heart of every castle - and Nithsdale Lodgings (added about 1634)
Fireplace, Oven and Well
After the 1640 siege, the castle was partially dismantled by the Covenanters and this time fell into decay. Caerlaverock was placed in state care in 1946 and having gained a secure structural reinforcement, visitors today and in the future can be awed - as I was - and learn from its remains.
Caerlaverock West Tower
Thanks for accompanying me as I relive my trip to Scotland. I hope you'll return and enjoy my next treasured memory as I journey on to...Ah, but that's another blog:)
Do you have treasured memories from a particular place you've been? Or do you have a dream destination you'd love to visit?