Bothwell Castle is a large medieval castle, sited on a high, steep bank, above a bend in the River Clyde. Construction of the castle was begun in the 13th century by the ancestors of Clan Murray, to guard a strategic crossing point of the Clyde. Bothwell played a key role in Scotland's Wars of Independence, changing hands several times.

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. The present ruin is rectangular, with the remains of the donjon to the west, and the later Great Hall to the east. The courtyard is enclosed by long curtain walls, with round towers at the south-east and south-west corners.

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Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

David J. McGlone (11 months ago)
The castle ruins there are astounding, it looks like it us currently being strengthened & repatriatee by Historic Scotland. Nice walks along the clyde just behind it too. A must visit.
David Lang (13 months ago)
Big castle even what is left of it I could just imagine how big it really was in its prime lovely place and surrounded by nice walkway round the clyde river
Matthew Chatterton (2 years ago)
Wonderful castle. A much more manageable size compared to Edinburgh or Stirling castles. A good hour is all you need to soak up the information and get a feel for what it must have been like in the 14th century. Well worth a visit.
Paul Whitehead (2 years ago)
Magnificent setting on the Clyde. Very brooding and imposing. A few areas are undergoing works so Historic Scotland needs our support to restore this to its full grandeur.
Richard Payne (2 years ago)
Interesting castle with plenty of historical longevity set in some lovely grounds. Some of the masonry and architecture is very different and reminiscent of the different phases of its life. Easy enough Pushchair and Disabled access to the courtyard, with some toilets on-site too and a small shop. The interior is calm and there are places and benches to relax. There was building work when we were there and you cannot access some areas, which was unfortunate, though it would be better when complete.
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On an ancient Roman fortification was built during the reign of Sancho VII of Navarre (13th century) and extended by his successors Theobald I and Theobald II, which the latter was is installed in the palace in 1269 and there he signed the consent letter for the wedding of Blanche of Artois with his brother Henry I of Navarre, who in turn, Henry I since 1271 used the palace as a temporary residence. This ancient area is known as the Old Palace.

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In 1813 Navarrese guerrilla fighter Espoz y Mina during the Napoleonic French Invasion burned the palace with the aim to French could not make forts in it, which almost brought in ruin. It is since 1937 when architects José and Javier Yarnoz Larrosa began the rehabilitation (except the non-damaged church) for the castle palace, giving it back its original appearance and see today. The restoration work was completed in 1967 and was paid by the Foral Government of Navarre.