Scottish Castles Photo Library
- Bothwell Castle, Lanarkshire

Bothwell Castle

Overlooking the river Clyde north of Hamilton in Lanarkshire, Bothwell Castle is a very extensive stone castle with a magnificent round tower which dominates the river below. There is a central courtyard which is surrounded by a wall which rises in places to over 60 feet high.

William Moray, lord of Bothwell began construction of a huge stone castle in the second half of the 13th century. If his plans had been completed, it would have been one of the most magnificent castles in Britain. But before it was finished, King Edward I of England had invaded Scotland, starting the Wars of Independence, which were to last well into the next century.

The castle changed hands several times as the war against the English ebbed and flowed. At one stage it became the main residence of the Earl of Pembroke, Edward I's Warden of Scotland. It did not return to Scottish hands until after the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.

The English returned in 1336 when it was occupied King Edward III, who stayed at Bothwell Castle for a month, while in Scotland supporting the cause of Edward Balliol. It was recaptured by Sir Andrew Moray (son of Wallace's companion) who destroyed part of the castle walls so that it could not be used again by the English.

See also Places to Visit - Bothwell Castle for more information and illustrations.

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