Bothwell Castle owes its origins to Walter of Moray, a northern aristocratic family who acquired Bothwell in 1242. He (or his son William, known as ‘the Rich’) created the mighty castle in a spectacular display of feudal pride.
Their dream was never completed, probably because of the outbreak of the Wars of Independence in 1296. No matter, for what they did achieve – and what still holds us enthralled today – is Bothwell Castle's great donjon, or tower.
Dr W. Douglas Simpson, former librarian of King’s College at the University of Aberdeen, has justifiably described Bothwell Castle as ‘the grandest piece of secular architecture that the Middle Ages has bequeathed to us in Scotland’.
Not surprisingly, the Morays’ great castle figured prominently in the Wars of Independence with England. After the wars, Bothwell Castle passed to another powerful noble family, the Black Douglases.
They rebuilt Bothwell Castle in a form not envisaged by their predecessors. This too is impressive, with an array of fine-quality later-medieval secular architecture. After the Black Douglases were overthrown in 1455, Bothwell Castle reverted to the Crown, and the castle's later history was relatively uneventful.
1 April to 30 September
Monday to Sunday, 9,30am to 5.30pm
1 October to 31 March
Daily except Thursday and Friday, 10am to 4pm
Take bus no 255 from Glasgow Buchanan St bus station to Motherwell. Alight at Uddingston Cross approx. 1 km walk along Castle Avenue to castle.
Glasgow Central to Motherwell and Lanark - service every 30 mins. Alight at Uddingston station walk up to the Main Street to Uddingston Cross then Castle Avenue - approx 1 mile.
Tel: 01698 816894
Location: Castle Avenue Uddingston G71 8BL