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Bothwell Library (geograph 2669901).jpg
Bothwell Library
South Lanarkshire UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within South Lanarkshire
Population6,870 (mid-2020 est.) [2]
OS grid reference NS705585
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Glasgow
Postcode district G71
Dialling code 01698
Police Scotland
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
55°48′08″N4°03′58″W / 55.802329°N 4.066217°W / 55.802329; -4.066217 Coordinates: 55°48′08″N4°03′58″W / 55.802329°N 4.066217°W / 55.802329; -4.066217

Bothwell is a conservation village in the South Lanarkshire council area of Scotland and part of the Greater Glasgow area. It lies on the north bank of the River Clyde, adjacent to Uddingston and Hamilton, 9 miles (14 km) east-south-east of Glasgow city centre.


Description and history

An ancient settlement which was once primarily a mining village, and earlier the site of the Battle of Bothwell Bridge in 1679, Bothwell is an affluent commuter town that has attracted a number of local celebrities including several professional footballers. Owing to a steady rise in property prices, Bothwell is one of Glasgow's most prosperous satellites. In 2019, "Earls Gate" which overlooks Bothwell Castle was named Greater Glasgow's most expensive street, with an average price tag of £1,125,000. [3] In 2021 Earls Gate was again named the City's most expensive street; according to the report this extends to the entire West of Scotland.

Bothwell Parish Church The Parish Church of Bothwell - - 106381.jpg
Bothwell Parish Church

The houses surrounding the Main Street are of older sandstone Victorian style whereas the newer part of the Bothwell consists of estates built in close proximity to Bothwell Castle and intertwined with Bothwell Castle Golf club. The new houses have significantly increased the population. According to the recent census report 2011, Bothwell has a population of c.6000, with the local council ward in combination with Uddingston established a year earlier. The majority of Bothwell's residents own their own property, and household incomes are likely to exceed the national average.


Until 1955 Bothwell had a station on the North British Railway. These are the remains in 1961 Bothwell (NBR) Station 1859040 2cac9a48.jpg
Until 1955 Bothwell had a station on the North British Railway. These are the remains in 1961

Bothwell has two primary schools (the rebuilt Bothwell PS and St Bride's RC PS), [4] [5] a library and a bowling club. There are several small shops and businesses in the town's Main Street, along with a handful of pubs and restaurants. The Bothwell area has many walkways, nature trails, woodlands and greenery. A footbridge links with Blantyre on the opposite bank of the river, and leads directly to the David Livingstone Centre.

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 (17621851) who was born in the manse.

Bothwell Castle Bothwell Slezer.jpg
Bothwell Castle

Bothwell Castle

The picturesque ruin of Bothwell Castle 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 William Moray, known as 'le Riche', who died in England in 1300. It passed eventually by marriage to the House of Douglas. The lordship was bestowed in 1487 on Patrick Hepburn, 3rd Lord Hailes, 1st Earl of Bothwell. When he resigned in 1491 the title passed to "Bell-the-Cat", Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus. The title ultimately passed to the Earls of Home.

The castle is a fine example of Gothic architecture. It consists of a great quadrangle 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 (16531712), and was known as New Bothwell Castle, but suffered mining subsidence and was demolished in 1926. The castle can be accessed through scenic Clyde Walkways.

Brighter Bothwell

Brighter Bothwell is a local environmental group, formed in 2000 for the benefit of the whole community of Bothwell. Their objective is to enhance the environment directly through the endeavours of volunteers.

Since the formation of the group, many public areas have been improved and some major projects have been undertaken including the Nature Trail, The Jubilee Garden and The Marion Gilchrist Garden. In the Beautiful Scotland campaign, the group has raised the village to Silver Gilt award standard and, in 2012, Bothwell won the prize as winner of the Small Town category.

Brighter Bothwell has also encouraged the formation of two additional community groups, The Organic Growers of Bothwell and The Bothwell Scarecrow Festival. Working along with Brighter Bothwell, these groups are having a positive impact on the community. [6]

Scarecrow Festival

In the autumn of 2010, inspired by a number of festivals already held in villages across the UK, Brighter Bothwell developed The Bothwell Community Scarecrow Festival to extend and develop the feeling of community in Bothwell and to support the local economy. The first festival took place in September 2011, and subsequently every year after.

The festival has become very popular and the main street is filled with imaginative scarecrows from August onwards. Many local businesses make their own scarecrows, as do the local children whose gardens are also filed with scarecrows at the time of year. Yorkhill Children's foundation is the beneficiary of the event. [7]

During the 2013 festival, a new event was held at Bothwell Primary School called 'The Scarecrow Festival of Transport'. It was intended to be a celebration of transport throughout the ages. Various people from the village donated their automobiles for the event, such as Boyd Tunnock of the local company Tunnock's, and Bentley Glasgow.



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 rose 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.

Golf Club

Bothwell Castle Golf Club was officially opened on the 16th of June 1923 by the Earl of Home (father of Prime Minister Sir Alec Douglas-Home). The course covered a 110-acre site situated between the 13th century castle and the then small village of Bothwell.

In 1960 the club were unable to accept an offer to buy the course, which was purchased by a developer. By 1962, building proposals were in place resulting in the club losing 7 holes for housing, and having to develop new ground to replace these holes. This new section of the course opened in 1973. [8]

The club finally purchased the course in 1976 for £70,000, thereby securing its long-term future.

The entrance to Bothwell Castle Golf Club, located on Bothwell Road. Bothwell Castle Golf Club.jpg
The entrance to Bothwell Castle Golf Club, located on Bothwell Road.

In 2002, a fire resulted in the complete destruction of the clubhouse. The club decided to build the replacement clubhouse in a new location closer to the centre of the course. Officially opened in October 2004 by Richard Cole-Hamilton CBE, the Captain of the R&A Golf Club of St Andrews.

In 1997, Lady Member Sheila Beckett produced a book on the history of the Club to commemorate its 75th anniversary. [9]

A flat, 18-hole parkland course, Bothwell is challenging for players at all levels. The building of the new clubhouse has allowed the club to revise the course layout, with several new tee positions and some new greens. [10]

Notable residents

This list includes notable persons who were born or have lived in Bothwell.

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  1. "The Online Scots Dictionary".
  2. "Mid-2020 Population Estimates for Settlements and Localities in Scotland". National Records of Scotland. 31 March 2022. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  3. Where is Scotland's most expensive street?, Property Reporter, 31 December 2018
  4. Bothwell Primary School, South Lanarkshire Council
  5. St Bride's Primary School (Bothwell), South Lanarkshire Council
  6. "Brighter Bothwell". Archived from the original on 13 November 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
  7. "Bothwell Scarecrow Festival". Hamilton Advertiser.
  8. "Bothwell Castle". Scottish Golf Courses.
  9. "History". Bothwell Castle Golf Club. Archived from the original on 13 November 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  10. "Bothwell Castle Golf Club". Archived from the original on 13 November 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  11. Cassidy, Rory (1 December 2022). "Ex-Celtic star Leigh Griffiths arrested after raid at his home". Daily Record.

Wikisource-logo.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bothwell". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.