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The Scottish Castles Association
Preserving the Past for the Future

Bothwell Castle Donjon

Bothwell Castle - Coucy

Bothwell Castle, Scotland and Coucy in France

John Goodhall (The English Castle 2011) revisits the question of just what was the inspiration for the donjon at Bothwell.

He considers Bothwell to be the 'most ambitious 13th century castle in Scotland' and revisits the the well covered connection with Coucy (Ainse).

However, he fails to highlight where the 2 castles differ (apart from scale). At Bothwell the donjon adjoins the walls and is set well back from the intended double towered gatehouse. At Coucy the donjon is independent and is brought forward to confront the entrance. Bothwell stands inside a loop in the River Clyde whereas Coucy stands at the end of a ridge fronted by a walled town.

He does, however, offer another possible stimulation for the construction of the tower at Bothwell - that of the Balliol castle of Barnard where he perceives a possible rivalry between that family and the Morays.

Balliol Castle of Barnard

Balliol Castle of Barnard

Article by SCA member Brian McGarrigle

Date posted: 09 Jan 2012Last updated: 04 Dec 2014

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