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Bothwell Castle stands beside the River Clyde (or rather between the North and South Calder Waters), and was built during the 13th Century by the Moray family. It was subject to siege on more than one occasion, the most famous being in 1301, when the English army employed an enormous Siege Engine, specially constructed at Glasgow for the task and hauled to the site. Its task there completed, it was then hauled to Stirling Castle for its next task, leaving Bothwell Castle in the care of Aymer de Valence, 10th Earl of Pembroke.
The Castle had an enormous donjon or fortified tower, which after the 1301 Siege became known as the Valence Tower, after Earl Aymer, though today it is but a shell of its former glory.
By 1311 the castle was firmly in English hands, and Walter FitzGilbert was then its Governor, charged by King Edward II with the castle's safety.
|The surviving south-east tower
(6 November 2006)
|The Great Donjon
After the English disaster at the Battle of Bannockburn (June 1314), [HERE501] Earl Humphrey of Hereford, together with other English lords, fled to the safety of Bothwell Castle; at least, so they thought. But when Edward Bruce arrived shortly afterwards on their trail, the castle Governor, Walter FitzGilbert, opened the gates and handed over the fugitives.