Caerlaverock Castle is a picture-perfect ruined castle, moated, built from rich local red sandstone, triangular in shape and with a mighty double-towered gatehouse. The most surprising addition, however, lies inside, where you’re confronted by the ornate Renaissance facade of the Nithsdale Lodging, erected in the 1630s by the first earl of Nithsdale. The decorated tympana above the windows feature lively mythological and heraldic scenes. Sadly, six years later Nithsdale and his garrison were forced to surrender after a thirteen-week siege and bombardment by the Covenanters, who wrecked the place. It was never inhabited again.

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