Lochmaben Castle ***

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Lochmaben, although now a ruined, almost haphazard pile of stones being inexorably eaten by the vines and plants that are growing over it, was started in the late 12th century as an earthen motte with extensive ditches and rampart defences.

One of the interesting pieces of history about Lochmaben is that it is considered the birthplace of Robert the Bruce. The castle was seized by the English in 1299 and was surrendered to the Scots again after Bannockburn in 1314. It was attacked and recovered again in 1396 by the English.

Mary, Queen of Scots and her first husband Darnley attended a banquet here in 1565.

Still, in 1586 the castle was besieged by James VI and taken. The castle was abandoned.

Although in ruins today, Historic Environment Scotland have stabilised the remaining walls and hope to clear the outer courtyard of trees and scrub to uncover the network of ditches.

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