Bothwell - 'The Prospect of Bothwell Castle'

Rising from the woods below a hill stands the formidable ruin of Bothwell Castle. Building began on the castle in the late 13th century. High walls surround a central courtyard, with towers and a massive keep. Due to repeated English invasions and sieges , the original design was never completed. Much of what remains dates from the rebuilding done in the early 1400s.

In the late 1600s, possibly when Slezer made his prospect, the then owner, the Earl of Forfar, had abandoned the castle to live in Bothwell House. This stood to the east of the castle - and as Slezer's prospect is drawn from the south - is possibly the more-distant building shown to the right of the Castle.

Unlike the other castles featured in Theatrum Scotiae, this castle wasn't actively defensible or maintained as a working fortress.

Image from Theatrum Scotiae by John Slezer, 1693.

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  Read what Robert Sibbald wrote in Theatrum Scotiae about Bothwell


To the Right Honourable Archibald Earl of Farfor, Lord Vandall and Oyd, &c. One of the Lords of their Majesties Most Honourable Privy Council.

The Castle of Bothwell

In Lower Clidsdale, not far from the River of Clyde, near to which is a Bridge of hewen Stone: The Ruines of it only are to be seen, which notwithstanding to testify its former Greatness.

Here of old was a Prebendary enjoy'd by a secular Priest, founded by Archibald Lord Douglas.

Who was Robert Sibbald?

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