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The Medieval Period (1100AD - 1499AD)


Castle of Dumfries, from The Antiquities of Dumfries and its Neighbourhood Collected and Drawn by John McCormick

19th Century

This page of the sketchbook shows the Castle of Dumfries.  This was the King's Castle of Dumfries, and with its Norman motte and bailey, is typical of royal castles of its period.  It was in existence in 1186 at the time of William the Lion when the town first became a Royal Burgh.  It was rebuilt in stone in the early 1260s.  The castle guarded the main land route between Scotland and England.  In 1297 the castle was taken by William Wallace, but was recaptured and strengthened by Edward I in 1300, during the siege of Caerlaverock.  On 10th February 1306 the castle was captured by Robert the Bruce, at the beginning of his long campaign to be King of an independent Scotland.  Recorded as "waste" in 1335, the castle and then the surrounding area were used as the town's quarry.


These sketches of various buildings in and around Dumfries were mainly compiled through McCormick's own study of the area and by speaking to those who remembered the buildings, as the majority of them were no longer in existence or in a ruinous state by McCormick's time. The drawings are all in pencil with extensive written notes.

pencil, paper
length 198mm, width 245mm
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
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Dumfries & Galloway Council