dumfries-1920/04-084

Transcription

CAERLAVEROCK.] INVENTORY OF MONUMENTS IN DUMFRIESSHIRE. [CAERLAVEROCK.

remain lie below ground. Many of the stones
would be re-used in the later fabric, and even
within living memory the site served as a
convenient quarry for the neighbourhood.
According to Grose (1789) "the site and founda-
tions" were in his time "still very conspicu-
ous." The foundations were again exposed
a few years before 1868 (Trans. Dumf. and
Gall. Antiq. Soc., 1868-9, p. 12), but no proper
record of the work then done can be traced.
M'Dowall, however, reports (History of Dum-
fries, 1873, p. 74 and note) that they showed
the building to have had "a quadrilateral
form," and therefore contests the suggestion
that this was the site of the castle besieged in
1300, which was triangular (cf. p. 23). He
adds that the walls exposed were of "unsub-
stantial build," and possibly those of "an
outwork, erected to defend the dam of the
fortress," and so prevent the draining of the
moat. But even in an outwork - which, more-
over, covers an area nearly as great as that of
the castle - "unsubstantial" walls would be
unsuitable, whatever may be the precise mean-
ing here of so indefinite a description. The
enceinte is now so overgrown with trees and
littered with fallen stone and the débris of the
excavation, that little save the general arrange-
ment of the castle can be traced.
On plan (fig. 12) the enceinte is roughly a
parallelogram set with the angles to the
cardinal points of the compass, and measuring
86 feet from north-east to south-west and 97
feet from north-west to south-east. The scarp
was apparently crowned by a curtain wall,
slight traces of which are visible on the south-
west side.
At the north angle is a mass of masonry,
which slight excavation revealed as the lower
stage of a rectangular tower, 17 feet 6 inches

[Diagram inserted]
FIG. 13. - Splayed
Base (No. 33 (I) ).

broad, projecting 11 feet
6 inches from the face of
the curtain walls which it
flanked. The masonry is
of fine ashlar work, averag-
ing 12 inches long on face,
and is built in courses 8
inches high, which are care-
fully bedded in clay. A
splayed member (possibly the uppermost of
a heavy basement course) was found return-
ing along the face and east side of the tower
(fig. 13). The conformation of the débris at

the remaining angles of the enceinte indicates
towers at these points. Within the eastern
angle of the curtain, but clear of the walls,
are the remains of a rectangular structure
with walls some 3 feet 6 inches thick.
An eye-witness of the excavations reported
from recollection that the buildings were found
to be supported on oak piles driven into the
clay solum. and that broken pottery was
unearthed and replaced at a point marked X
on Plan.
OUTWORKS. - The moat has silted up some
2 feet; under the silt the clay bottom is
found to be some 10 feet below the level of
the enceinte. The width at base varies from
6 feet on the north to 50 feet on the south.
A burn on the east drains the moat and, when
dammed, would fill it. The outer rampart,
on the summit of which to the north and east
is a modern roadway, follows the contour of
the enceinte and rises to its level. The outer
scarp terminates in a ditch some 15 feet in
width.
An enclosure an acre and a quarter in extent
lies immediately to the north-east and is
defined by a continuation of the outer ditch
and the burn.
The masonry exposed in the north tower
and the whole arrangement of the castle in-
dicate its erection in the early 13th century.

33 (2). Caerlaverock Castle. - The enceinte
of the later stronghold, hereafter called by its
usual appellation Caerlaverock Castle, is tri-
angular on plan (fig. 14), with the apex set to
the north. The sides and base are enclosed
by curtain walls which terminate at the basal
angles in a drum tower and at the apex in a
gatehouse flanked by drum towers. Between
these towers is the entrance. This northern
façade gives an impression of great strength
and is one of the finest examples of early 15th-
century military architecture in Scotland
(fig. 15).
The entrance - the outer portion of which is
a mid 15th-century addition, as will be ex-
plained later - is arched and sheltered within
an arch-headed recess so formed that the
drawbridge when raised would become an
extra barrier to the portal. Withi this
recess, and above the entrance, is a badly
weathered oblong panel of 17th-century date

-- 11

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