Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Bothwell Castle is a large medieval castle sited on a high steep bank above a bend in the River Clyde between Uddingston and the small town of Bothwell in Lanarkshire, Scotland, about 10 miles (16 km) south of Glasgow. The huge cylindrical Donjon was built in the 13th century, but before the rest of the castle was completed it was severely damaged in a series of sieges. Rebuilding in the early 15th century enlarged the castle, but it was abandoned by the 18th century and became the present massive rectangular ruin, with the Donjon to the west and the later Great Hall to the east side of the rectangular central courtyard enclosed by long curtain walls.
Walter of Moray began construction in the latter half of the 1200s. In 1296 with only the Donjon, Prison Tower and the short connecting curtain wall completed, the forces of King Edward I of England invaded Scotland at the start of the Wars of Scottish Independence and seized the castle also capturing Walter's son, William Moray of Bothwell.
The English garrison holding the castle was besieged by the Scots for 14 months in 1298—1299 and starved into submission, then in August 1301 Edward I brought a force of 6.800 men with a high siege tower and recaptured the castle after about 3 weeks. The English surrendered the castle after defeat at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, then re-took it in 1336 and made it the headquarters of King Edward III of England during his invasion of Scotland. Then in March 1337 a Scots army under Andrew Murray of Bothwell recaptured the castle (his ancestral home). As part of their attack the Scots demolished the western side of the great donjon, leaving just the eastern half standing as can be seen today.
In the late 14th century the castle became the property of the Earls of Douglas (the Black Douglases) who began a project to restore and expand the castle, and by 1424 they had constructed the Great Hall and adjacent chapel with towers at the north east and south east corners and curtain walls connecting to the Donjon, enclosing the courtyard. The lordship was bestowed in 1487 on Patrick Hepburn, 3rd Lord Hailes, 1st earl of Bothwell, who resigned it in 1491 in favor of Archibald Douglas, 5th earl of Angus , known as "Bell-the-Cat". It thus reverted to the Douglases and eventually descended to the Earls of Home . For much of the 16th century the castle was the property of the crown, then in 1669 the Earls of Forfar acquired the castle.
By 1700 the Earls of Forfar abandoned the castle and moved to Bothwell House, a large new mansion built by Archibald Douglas, 1st earl of Forfar (1653 - 1712) close to the east of the castle. However mining subsidence forced the demolition of the house in 1926.
- Bothwell Castle (note: plans show south at the top)
- Bothwell Castle Feature Page on Undiscovered Scotland
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