Bothwell motte (site of)
The original seat of the barony of Bothwell was a motte within the town although it has been removed and its exact location lost.
Around 1158 David I granted the barony of Bothwell to his grandson, David Olifard of Smailholm, possibly as a reward for having saved the King’s life at the siege of Winchester Castle in 1141. Olifard built a motte as the seat of the barony.
The massive motte was depicted on Roy’s mid-18th century map although it was later cleared away, apparently during the Industrial Revolution. Roy shows it between the properties of Sweethope and Back of Sweethope which would appear to correspond with the location of the Fairyknowe. Archaeological excavations in 1999 ahead of residential housebuilding revealed pottery dating to the 12th to 15th centuries.
When David Olifard’s grandson, Walter Olifard, died in 1242 the lands passed to the Murray family, Walter’s daughter having married Walter de Moravia in the first half of the 13th century. He is thought to have been responsible for building Bothwell Castle around 1.9km to the west of the motte.
Alternative names for Bothwell motte
Bothwell Castle; Fairyknowe