Bothwell is a small town in the South Lanarkshire
South Lanarkshire
South Lanarkshire is one of 32 unitary council areas of Scotland, covering the southern part of the former county of Lanarkshire. It borders the south-east of the city of Glasgow and contains many of Glasgow's suburbs, commuter towns and smaller villages....

 council area of Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

. It lies on the north bank of the River Clyde
River Clyde
The River Clyde is a major river in Scotland. It is the ninth longest river in the United Kingdom, and the third longest in Scotland. Flowing through the major city of Glasgow, it was an important river for shipbuilding and trade in the British Empire....

, adjacent to Uddingston
Uddingston is a small town in South Lanarkshire, Scotland. It is on the north side of the River Clyde, about seven miles south-east of Glasgow...

 and Hamilton, nine miles east-south-east of Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

 city centre.

Bothwell is an affluent commuter town
Commuter town
A commuter town is an urban community that is primarily residential, from which most of the workforce commutes out to earn their livelihood. Many commuter towns act as suburbs of a nearby metropolis that workers travel to daily, and many suburbs are commuter towns...

 that has attracted a number of local celebrities including a number of Old Firm
Old Firm
The Old Firm is a common collective name for the association football clubs Celtic and Rangers, both based in Glasgow, Scotland.The origin of the term is unclear. One theory has it that the expression derives from Celtic's first game in 1888, which was played against Rangers. However, author,...

 footballers. Thanks to a steady rise in property prices, Bothwell has earned its reputation as one of Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

's most prosperous satellites. A recent survey published in The Scotsman
The Scotsman
The Scotsman is a British newspaper, published in Edinburgh.As of August 2011 it had an audited circulation of 38,423, down from about 100,000 in the 1980s....

 revealed that Bothwell's Imperial Way, site of the former home of ex-Celtic manager Gordon Strachan
Gordon Strachan
Gordon David Strachan OBE is a Scottish football manager and former player. He is currently without a club, having last managed Middlesbrough. Strachan played for Dundee, Aberdeen, Manchester United, Leeds United and Coventry City, as well as the Scotland national team. Prior to Middlesbrough,...

, is the fifth most expensive street in Scotland.

The parish church (which was restored at the end of the 19th century) contains the choir of the old Gothic church of 1398. A memorial honours the poet Joanna Baillie
Joanna Baillie
Joanna Baillie was a Scottish poet and dramatist. Baillie was very well known during her lifetime and, though a woman, intended her plays not for the closet but for the stage. Admired both for her literary powers and her sweetness of disposition, she hosted a brilliant literary society in her...

 (1762–1851) who was born in the manse.

Bothwell Castle

The picturesque ruin of Bothwell Castle
Bothwell Castle
Bothwell Castle is a large medieval castle sited on a high, steep bank, above a bend in the River Clyde, in South Lanarkshire, Scotland. It is located between Uddingston and Bothwell, about south-east of Glasgow. Construction of the castle was begun in the 13th century by the ancestors of Clan...

 occupies a position on a bluff above a bend in the River Clyde on the edge of Bothwell, which here takes the bold sweep famed in Scottish song as the Bothwell bank. This fortress belonged to Sir Andrew de Moray, who was fatally wounded at the Battle of Stirling Bridge
Battle of Stirling Bridge
The Battle of Stirling Bridge was a battle of the First War of Scottish Independence. On 11 September 1297, the forces of Andrew Moray and William Wallace defeated the combined English forces of John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey and Hugh de Cressingham near Stirling, on the River Forth.-The main...

 in 1297. It passed by marriage to the House of Douglas. The lordship was bestowed in 1487 on Patrick Hepburn, 3rd Lord Hailes, 1st Earl of Bothwell
Patrick Hepburn, 1st Earl of Bothwell
Patrick Hepburn, 1st Earl of Bothwell was Lord High Admiral of Scotland. Under his territorial designation of Sir Patrick Hepburne of Dunsyre, Knt., he was Sheriff of Berwickshire, 15 June 1480...

. When he resigned in 1491 the title passed to "Bell-the-Cat", Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus
Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus
Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus , was a late medieval Scottish magnate. He became known as "Bell the Cat"...

. The title ultimately passed to the Earls of Home
Earl of Home
The title Earl of Home was created in 1605 in the Peerage of Scotland for Alexander Home of that Ilk, who was already the 6th Lord Home.The Earl of Home holds the subsidiary titles of Lord Home , and Lord Dunglass , in the Peerage of Scotland; and Baron Douglas, of Douglas in the County of Lanark ...

. The castle is a fine example of Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

. It consists of a great quadrangle
Quadrangle (architecture)
In architecture, a quadrangle is a space or courtyard, usually rectangular in plan, the sides of which are entirely or mainly occupied by parts of a large building. The word is probably most closely associated with college or university campus architecture, but quadrangles may be found in other...

 with circular towers on the south. At the east end stand the remains of the chapel. An unpretentious mansion was built nearby by Archibald Douglas, 1st Earl of Forfar
Archibald Douglas, 1st Earl of Forfar
Archibald Douglas, 1st Earl of Forfar, 2nd Earl of Ormonde was a Scottish peer.He was the second son and youngest child of Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus and 1st Earl of Ormond, by his second wife, Jean Wemyss, the daughter of David Wemyss, 2nd Earl of Wemyss and the Hon. Anna Balfour of Burleigh...

 (1653–1712), and was known as New Bothwell Castle, but suffered mining subsidence and was demolished in 1926.


Bothwell has two primary schools, the newly rebuilt Bothwell Primary School and St Bride's Roman Catholic Primary School, golf and bowling clubs. There are several small shops and businesses in the town's Main Street, along with a handful of pubs and restaurants.


Speedway racing was staged in the Bothwell Castle estate area in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The track was constructed on old railway land by club members who used it as a training track. Occasional team matches saw the Bothwell Bulls take on other training venues such as Newtongrange and High Beech.

Tommy Miller, who had a meteoric rise to fame with Glasgow Tigers in 1950, and Ken McKinlay, arguably the best ever Scottish speedway rider, both started out at Bothwell. The venture, safety fence and all, moved to Chapelhall.

External links

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