Gathering Header
  Home   Membership   Events   Tours   Hotels & Travel   Donations   About Us Contact Us

Latest news

6th July 2014 - Event closed

Bothwell Castle


Bothwell Castle

Bothwell Castle


Plan your Gathering

Your day planner:

Choose where to go:

Plan your events:


Bothwell Castle is one of the outstanding monuments of medieval Scotland.

It 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 the great donjon, or tower. Dr W. Douglas Simpson, erstwhile librarian of King’s College at the University of Aberdeen, has justifiably described the building 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. Siege followed on siege. The most momentous was Edward I’s great siege of 1301.

After the last recorded siege in 1337, the mighty donjon was partially dismantled. The castle lay derelict until 1362, when Joanna Moray, heiress of Bothwell, married Archibald ‘the Grim’, 3rd Earl of Black Douglas. Archibald and Joanna completely rebuilt Bothwell to a different design. This included a lofty new tower house (now gone), with a great hall and chapel beside it. The hall and chapel still stand, and are impressive examples of later medieval castle architecture.

After the Black Douglases were overthrown in 1455, the castle reverted to the Crown, and its later history was relatively uneventful.


We will visit Bothwell Castle on Tuesday 1st July, the same day as we go to the village of Douglas, site of the remains of Douglas Castle, St Brides Church and the Douglas Heritage Museum.

We will stop off at both Bothwell and Douglas estate gates, which display the Douglas coat of arms.

Tickets to Bothwell Castle are included in the tour price.

View Douglas History in a larger map

Programme     Follow us Support Links
Calendar Newsletters   Facebook Terms and Conditions Douglas History
Tours     Twitter Privacy Policy Douglas genealogy
Events     Douglas Archives Cookie Policy Douglas Community Network