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Bothwell Castle

Bothwell Castle

The castle stands a mile to the west of the old Bothwell Bridge over the Clyde, the only span of the river until 300 years ago. This area of South Lanarkshire steeped in history; the Romans used the valley as a means of approaching the west end of their wall, and at Uddingstone nearby Bronze Age urns were discovered.
It was built in the 13th Century by the family de Moravia, later Murray, and is one of the largest and finest stone castles in Scotland, with a handsome round stone keep. The walls are upward of fifteen feet thick in many parts, and over 60 feet high in the sections facing the river. Due to its position, size, and strength the castle has been involved in many of the major events of Scottish history, particularly in the struggles for independence.
When John Baliol was defeated Bothwell Castle was held by Stephen de Brampton for Edward I, and in 1298-99 was besieged by the Scots continuously for more than fourteen months. In 1301 Edward I recaptured the castle once more with an army of 6,800 men, necessitating the building of a bridge across the Clyde "for the passage of the army". After its capture the castle became the headquarters of the Earl of Pembroke, Aymer de Valence, Warden of Scotland, who gave his name to the "Valence" tower.

Bothwell Castle is still much of a puzzle from the point of view of dating the rebuilding and additions made to the basic 13th Century plan. Apparently the only parts of the original scheme that were completed were the donjon and south-west curtain or wing wall. including the prison tower and postern. Here the work stopped around the tower and probably dates from the original building. Located Some 9 miles south-east of Glasgow near Motherwell.

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