Langholm Castle

Little now remains of Langholm Castle, the once-imposing traditional seat of the Armstrong Clan, and a stronghold of reiving fame. Built in the 1520s (c.1526) on the Castle Holm – a strategic jut of land at the confluence of the River Esk and Ewes Water – the castle served in defence of upper Eskdale, Ewesdale, and Wauchopedale. In 1530, Johnnie Armstrong of Gilnockie and his men, on their ill-fated march to parley with King James V at Teviothead, stopped at Langholm Castle for a bout of jousting. In 1596, it was on the Castle Holm that Sir Walter Scott ‘the Bold Buccleuch’ and his allies drew up their plans for the daring rescue of Kinmont Willie from Carlisle Castle. A cairn near the Langholm cricket pavilion commemorates this heroic episode in reivers’ history. Seemingly last attacked by King James VI on his way south to claim the English throne, Langholm Castle was abandoned in the early 18th century (c.1726). Today, only its south wall and fragments of the adjoining walls remain.