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Bothwell Castle


Bothwell Castle - ref BOC1

 

The castle has been described as " the greatest piece of secular architecture that the Middle Ages have bequeathed to us in Scotland " It was built on a hillside overlooking the River Clyde . It featured prominently in the Wars of Independence . In 1301 7,000 English soldiers laid siege to it . After the war it fell into the hands of the Black Douglases .
In the late 13th century William Moray started the construction of the castle and made it into a formidable stronghold . In 1296 Moray was captured by the English. His nephew and heir , Andrew Moray , joined forces with
William Wallace to defend Scotland . He played an important role in the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297 but he was mortally wounded . In 1298 the Scottish army started a siege of the castle which was to last 14 months in order to regain it from the English .
After
Bannockburn in June 1314 , Humphrey de Bohun , Earl of Hereford and other English nobles fled to Bothwell Castle. But when Bruce arrived in pursuit the governor , Fitzgilbert , gave the nobles up to the Scottish army. Soon after Hereford was released in exchange for Queen Elizabeth and Bruce's sister,daighter and nephew .

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