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Bothwell is a pleasant village within a conservation area, located just outside Hamilton with easy access from the M74 motorway at Junction 5.
The village has a number of category 'A' listed buildings including Bothwell Castle, Bothwell Bridge and Bothwell Parish Church.
Located next to Bothwell Castle is Bothwell Castle Golf Course, a flat 18 hole golf course with a great reputation for excellent greens. Enjoy a round of golf at this challenging course, which is popular for both members and visitors alike.
Bothwell Castle is Scotland's largest and finest 13th century castle and is operated by Historic Scotland.
Bothwell Castle is a great family day out and take time to walk along the adjacent Clyde Walkway right by the River Clyde and experience the wildlife by the river. Across the river is the David Livingstone Centre in Blantyre.
Eating out in Bothwell
Bothwell has many fine restaurants and a hotel, the Bothwell Bridge Hotel, which is a popular wedding venue. It also has a selection of cafes, pubs and takeaways for all your dining needs.
Bothwell has a good sprinkling of specialist, niche, designer and craft shops as well as some of the usual high street names.
Bothwell's red sandstone villas and modern houses have attracted a number of affluent residents from premier league footballers to Lottery winners!
A Brief History of Bothwell
The origin of the name Bothwell is unclear and there have been various theories as to the origin of 'Bothwell' but the most popular is thought to be that it comes from the Gaelic for either "dwelling by the river" or "castle on the outcrop".
The Bothwell Estate was passed by marriage from David Olifard to Walter de Moravia or Moray in the early 13th century who then built Bothwell Castle in the latter part of the century.
His tomb lies in Bothwell Parish Church. The castle changed hands between the Scots and the English many times in the 14th century, falling into disrepair. The third Earl of Douglas, Archibald "The Grim" restored the castle in 1362 but it was passed to the Crown in 1455 and then to the Red Douglas family in 1492.
In 1669 the first Earl of Forfar, Archibald Douglas built a Palladian-style mansion in the castle grounds using stone from the castle. It was demolished in 1930. Overlooking the Raith roundabout is Bothwell Castle Mansion, built in 1750 as a dower house. It may have been designed by one of the Adams brothers as it shows their style, but this is unproven.
In 1398 Archibald the Grim also built the Collegiate Church of St Bride, on the foundations of an old Norman church, although the site was an early Celtic place of worship. The church's choir was dedicated to St Bride, patron saint of the Black Douglas family. Built in the emerging Gothic style it has stone barrel vaults rather than wood to utilise the area's abundance of stone.
Nearby Hamilton has a strong Covenanting tradition and on June 22nd, 1679 there was a bloody battle between the Covenanters and Charles II's army, 'The Battle of Bothwell Brig' or 'Bridge'. Four hundred Covenanters were killed and over 1200 prisoners were taken. A monument to commemorate the battle was erected at Bothwell Bridge in 1903.
Bothwell's history lies in agriculture with rich soil and clement weather. The worst parts of the Industrial Revolution bypassed the village. Weaving was popular in the 18th century and most was done at home. Merchants from Glasgow would bring the weavers the raw materials then pick up the piece work when ready.
Bothwell Mill operated 90 power looms and brought about the demise of the home weavers. A new, bigger mill at Blantyre forced the Bothwell Mill to close and the Bothwell workers either crossed the Clyde to work in Blantyre or were employed building a wall round the Bothwell Castle estate in an attempt to keep poverty away from the area.
With the growth of Glasgow, based on tobacco, molasses and manufacturing, many merchants saw Bothwell as a greener, healthier place to live and they began to build houses. Bothwell was easily reached by coach as it lay on the main Glasgow to Carlisle route.
A large coal seam was discovered in Bothwell in the middle of the 19th century and miners came from all over Scotland and Ireland looking for work.
Two miles away Bothwellhaugh was a sleepy dairy farming community until coal was discovered. Two pits were opened and two phases of colliery houses were built. Both pits were open until 1959 and the final villagers left in 1965. The houses were demolished and the area became part of Strathclyde Park in the early 1970s.
The Great War caused a heavy death toll in Bothwell and every family was affected. The Woodlands estate was built in 1919 as part of the nationwide "homes for heroes" scheme and was the first county council housing estate in the area. Wooddean followed in the Depression to house the unemployed.
Famous faces from Bothwell
Joanna Baillie (September 11, 1762 – February 23, 1851)-a dramatist and poet in the 18th and 19th centuries and was born in Bothwell in 1762. She was born to Rev.James Baillie and Dorothea Hunter. Rev. Baillie was a Presbyterian minister and for two years, a Professor of Divinity at the university of Glasgow. Her mother was sister to the great anatomists and physicians William and John Hunter. Joanna Baillie lived in Bothwell until 1769, when the family moved to Hamilton.
During her life Baillie was to became one of the most influential female dramatists and poets of the romantic era, and recently, literature scholars have come to reassess the importance of her work in influencing Romantic Literature, and the oldest collegiate church in Scotland, which is still in use, the village is popular with commuters to Glasgow, Hamilton and East Kilbride.
Bothwell Village Leaflet
For more information on the history and heritage of Bothwell don't forget to download the informative Bothwell Village leaflet pdf located in the maps and guides section lower down this page.
Maps and Guides
Located juts outside Hamilton with easy access from the M74 at junction 5.
Great Days Out in Lanarkshire
Eat - Let Lanarkshire Satisfy Your Tastebuds
Bothwell Village Leaflet
Events in Bothwell
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Attractions in Bothwell
Bothwell Castle is the largest and finest 13th century stone castle in Scotland. In a beautiful...
Gladstone Court Museum
Get a feel for Old Lanarkshire at this amazingly reconstructed slice of Victorian life Gladstone...
Wooddean Park is a multi use facility providing a range of outdoor activities
Accommodation in Bothwell
Bothwell Bridge Hotel
Situated in the picturesque village of Bothwell, on the banks of the River Clyde, Bothwell Bridge...