Lochmaben Castle

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Lochmaben Castle
Lochmaben, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
UK grid reference NY088811
Lochmaben Castle 01.jpg
The castle in 2008
Lochmaben Castle is located in Dumfries and Galloway
Lochmaben Castle
Lochmaben Castle
Coordinates55°06′59″N 3°25′45″W / 55.116287°N 3.429248°W / 55.116287; -3.429248
Site information
OwnerHistoric Scotland
Open to
the public
Site history
Built13th/14th century; rebuilt 1488-1513
Built byEdward I
Lochmaben - aerial view

Lochmaben Castle is a ruined castle in the town of Lochmaben, the feudal Lordship of Annandale, and the united county of Dumfries and Galloway. It was built by Edward I in the 13th and 14th centuries, and later rebuilt during the reign of James IV of Scotland. An earlier motte-and-bailey castle was built south of the current castle in c. 1160 by the Bruce family, Lords of Annandale.

King Edward replaced the castle with a much sturdier structure at the south end of Castle Loch around 1300 and its remains still show the massive strength of its defences. Archibald Douglas, Lord of Galloway, with the assistance of the Earls of March and Douglas, after a siege of nine days, took Lochmaben Castle from the English and "razed it to the ground" on 4 February 1384/5. The castle and barony became a possession of the Earls of March, but when the 10th Earl was forfeited and then reinstated, in 1409, it is noted that it was "with the exception of the castle of Lochmaben and the Lordship of Annandale" which by July 1455 was in the possession of Alexander Stewart, Duke of Albany, etc.,(d.1485). Following his death both the Lordship and the castle were annexed to the Crown by Act of Parliament dated October 1, 1487.[1]

On 16 January 1508/9, at Edinburgh, Sir Robert Lauder of The Bass (d.1517/8), knight, was appointed "Captain and Keeper of the King's castle and fort of Lochmaben, with all pertinentes" and other privileges etc., for three years.[2]

In June 1592 Francis Stewart, 5th Earl of Bothwell dressed as a woman and captured the castle.[3]

In 1605 the Depute Lieutenant of the Borders, Sir William Cranstoun of that Ilk (later 1st Lord Cranstoun), was Keeper of Lochmaben Castle.[4]

Lochmaben Castle remained important and had a turbulent history until some time after the early 17th century by which time it had seen its last siege and was gradually abandoned. It is now protected as a scheduled monument.[5]

Lord Mansfield, the Earl of Mansfield, is the Hereditary Keeper of Bruce’s Castle of Lochmaben [6]


  1. ^ Cokayne, G. E., The Complete Peerage by G. E. Cokayne, edited by the Hon. Vicary Gibbs, vol. 1, London, 1910, pp. 80-1.
  2. ^ The Register of the Privy Seal of Scotland edited by M.Livingstone, I.S.O., vol.1, 1488-1529, Edinburgh, 1908, number 1799, pps: 273/274.
  3. ^ Border Papers, vol. 1 (Edinburgh, 1894), p. 397.
  4. ^ James Balfour Paul,The Scots' Peerage, under 'Cranstoun' pps:592/3.
  5. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "Lochmaben Peel and Castle (SM90205)". Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  6. ^ "Rich in Scottish History". Scone Palace. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  • Coventry, Martin (2001) The Castles of Scotland, 3rd Ed. Scotland: Goblinshead ISBN 1-899874-26-7

External links[edit]