Bothwell Castle
Bothwell Parish Church
Bothwell Bridge
Bothwell
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Bothwell is a small, yet somehow sprawling, red sandstoney sort of place. When you look at a map you'd hardly think a small town squeezed in between Hamilton and the giant engulfing organism that is Glasgow could ever have its own identity, but it does. As you stand and stare at the old church, marvelling at the utter beauty of a four-panel mosaic memorial, you find yourself thinking, 'Yeh - this feels nice. Bothwell's no' bad.'
My 1920s guidebook tells me the church was founded in 1398 by Archibald the Grim, a man who clearly wasn't in the habit of smiling too often. It also tells me that, 'within, the sedilia are notable.' I don't know about you, but I've never heard of sedilia. It is a word that has the sound of a beastie about it, some Doctor Who thingy that scuttles about, frequently bounding from a dark wall crevice to haul someone away, kicking and screaming. Perhaps that's why Archibald was so grim: the place was hotching with sedilia. Perhaps in the old days their lives were blighted by swarms of sedilia running about, so many that they set traps for them, and maybe even ate those they caught. Perhaps sedilia-on-toast was a medieval delicacy.
As I scampered around the musty old interior, ever cautious of creeping things, I found someone to ask. 'Sedilia,' he replied, 'are seats for the Clergy.' 'Hmm,' I thought to myself. 'I think he's hiding something.' As I left I heard a noise coming from a deep crack in the wall. 'Run for your lives,' I shouted to a couple of visitors. 'It's another sedilia!'
BOTHWELL CASTLE
BOTHWELL PARISH CHURCH
BOTHWELL BRIDGE
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How to
GET THERE
You can get a train to Blantyre from Glasgow Central Railway Station. Bothwell's a short walk from there.
Scotland’s online tourist guide – tartan hippo logo