Bothwell, ‘The most magnificent ruin in Scotland’, lies on a hill at a bend of the Clyde, overlooking the river. An imposing stronghold which has been the key to the region since its inception in 1242, this is a wonderful site to visit.
Firstly, I’d note that Bothwell at present is less than it was expected to be by at least some of its masters. Several buildings to the exterior of its present standing wall were never built, including another gatehouse. However, the groundwork for these is present and it’s quite interesting to see.
Nevertheless, of the buildings which are still standing both the exterior wall and the interior buildings are beautiful. The Great Hall is magnificently ornamented though the higher levels exist no more.
It is also one of the castles Edward I of England took when he attacked Scotland during succession disputes. As a powerful lowland stronghold, Bothwell therefore has changed hands many a time, even not noting the various Scottish families to have owned it: the Olifards, the Morays, the Douglases, before becoming a royal stronghold.
It feels to me as if the greatness of these generations is more perceptible here than in some other places. This castle reflects the centuries of history it has experienced, and it does so well. The mighty Bothwell…