Ancestral home of Clan Maxwell. The King of Scotland granted the lands to Sir John De Maccuswell around 1220. This massive fortress has stood guard over the Solway Firth and as the sentry of Scotland since the 1270's. Because the castle is so close to England, it has always had a bloody history throughout the many wars between the two kingdoms and the many Border Wars. The castle is surrounded by a double moat and hundreds of acres of flat marshy willow woods (known in Scotland as a "moss"). Building began around 1277, and by 1300 it was besieged by Edward I during his long war against the Scottish king John (Balliol), a war still remembered for the brave resistance put up by the Scots under Sir William Wallace and made famous in the movie "Braveheart."
It is near the Solway Coast between Gretna Green and Dumfries. The name Maxwell comes from "Maccus Well," a pool in the River Tweed near Kelso. Maccus was believed to be a Norse chief who lived in the reign of David I of Scotland. Sir John Maxwell, Chamberlain of Scotland, died without an heir and was succeeded by his brother, Aymer, from whose sons sprang many branches of this family throughout the southwest of Scotland.
The following names are Septs of Clan Maxwell: Adair, Blackstock, Dinwiddie, Dinwoodie, Edgar, Herries, Kirk, Kirkland, Latimer, Latimore, Mackittrick, Maxton, Mescall, Monreith, Moss, Nithdale, Paulk, Peacock, Pollock, Pollok, Polk, Sturgeon and Wardlaw.