Annan Castle

Annan Castle Details

Annan Castle, remains of a C12 earthwork castle of the Bruce Lords of Annandale eroded by river and destroyed by the C16

  • Closest To: Annan
  • Access: Free Public Access
  • Grid Reference: NY192668

Annan Castle was a large and impressive motte and bailey castle erected during the 12th century by the Bruce family, Lords of Annandale. Perhaps half of the castle has eroded away at the hands of the Annan River, and the remainder is open as a public park, with parking by the riverside.

The majority of the motte has gone now, and is represented by a narrow ridge, but it is possible to extrapolate a summit area of about 15 metres diameter. The summit also rises about 15 metres above the ambient ground level. The bailey is some 90 metres long, and the whole structure was surrounded by an impressive ditch, perhaps with an external bank.

Robert Bruce was granted Annandale by King David I at a time when the south-western portion of his realm was ill defined. David had been granted the rule of Cumbria and Northumberland by King Henry I, but had little if any authority of the lords of Galloway, and the grant to Bruce, a Yorkshire baron, was intended to secure his boundary and perhaps to provide a bridgehead for future advances to the south-west. It is possible that the castle was sacked during the rebellion of Uhtred and Gille Brigte of Galloway in 1174, and subsequently the Bruces based themselves at Lochmaben, a short distance north. It is also possible that a severe weather event may have caused the castle to be rendered uninhabitable.

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