Visit Lochmaben and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Lochmaben, Dumfries and Galloway. This ancient royal burgh, traditionally chartered by Bruce and certainly the caput of Bruce power in Annandale from about 1200, sits in the flat-bottomed Annan valley at the foot of its steep West shore, surrounded by one large loch and four small ones.
Lochmaben has a very long history. Its oldest charter dates back to 1298. It seems likely that the promontory on which the medieval stone castle across the loch now stands was the central temenos or shrine of the god Maporos in the Iron Age. A ditch, relating to the Iron-Age lake-level, crosses the promontory outside the deep medieval ditch that defines the castle-ward. Some time about the ll30s, the Bruce motte (now in the golf course on the edge of the present burgh) was erected; and in 1290 Edward of England erected his pele, or small castle in tower-form, on the promontory across the lake. A stone castle put up about 1330 on this stronghold was in English hands for most of the years between 1290 and 1385, enabling Annandale to be governed virtually as an English shire. James IV later, when Lochmaben had returned to Scotland, took a great interest in the castle. The last important siege was in 1588, when it was held by Lord Maxwell, acting with Spanish encouragement. England lent cannon to help the Scottish Government forces to seize it. It stood intact far into the next century. The original early 14th-century bell, called the Bruce Bell, is still used in the 19th-century church, as well as another old bell called Pope's Bell.
About 1½ miles North of Lochmaben in Elshieshields is a particularly fine tower-house built about 1600 by the same architect as Amisfield Tower. It is still inhabited — unlike Spedlin's, built in 1605, 3 miles North of Lochmaben, and famed for the ghost that inhabited its dungeon and had to be kept there by the presence of a fine Cranmer 1548 Bible on the cellar stair. The origin of this ghost story is the belief that a 17th-century laird went off on business to Edinburgh, forgetting a prisoner in the dungeon, who starved to death; his ghost then haunted the dungeon.
Nearby towns: Annan, Dumfries, Lockerbie, Moffat, Thornhill
Nearby villages: Amisfield Town, Annandale, Applegarth Town, Auchencairn, Boreland, Brydekirk, Carrutherstown, Collin, Dalton, Dinwoodie Mains, Duncow, Ecclefechan, Greenhill, Hightae, Johnstonebridge, Kelton, Kingholm Quay, Kirkton, Locharbriggs, Maxwelltown, Mouswald, New Abbey, Nithsdale, Racks, Templand, Tinwald, Torthorwald
Have you decided to visit Lochmaben or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Lochmaben bed and breakfast (a Lochmaben B&B or Lochmaben b and b)
- a Lochmaben guesthouse
- a Lochmaben hotel (or motel)
- a Lochmaben self-catering establishment, or
- other Lochmaben accommodation