Castle of the Day
Bothwell Castle, South Lanarkshire
Standing above a gorge on a bend in the River Clyde, and defended by a deep ditch.This is the largest and finest 13th century stone castle in Scotland and was much fought over during the Wars of Independence The Morays had started to build a vast castle of enclosure, with a mighty four storey round donjon, a huge twin-towered gatehouse and circular angle towers flanking a formidable curtain wall. But by the time of the Wars of Independence, only the great keep and the prison tower were fully built, with the other towers and walls being just foundations. From 1296 both the English and the Scottish captured or laid siege to the castle and finality in 1337 the western side of the keep was dismantled. In 1362, Archibald ‘The Grim’ or Black Archibald completely rebuilt Bothwell to a different design, repairing the keep and adding a huge gatehouse, a high rectangular north-east tower and a first floor great hall, with a chapel beside it. After the Black Douglases were overthrown in 1455, the castle reverted to the Crown and its later history was relatively uneventful. Until in 1669, Archibald Douglas, earl of Forfar, had the castle partially dismantled to provide stone for the construction of his new mansion.