The building has evolved over centuries. Standing on the site of a former 6th century church dedicated to St Mary and subsequently associated with St Bride, it retains a medieval Quire within the chancel. Adding to a previous Norman structure, this section was built by Archibald Douglas “The Grim”, who became Third Earl of Douglas in 1389.
It was to be the main part of the new “Collegiate Church” that Bothwell Parish Church became, by permission of Pope Benedict XIII. This meant that a “Collegion” or “Corporation of priests, numbering six (though Archbald “The Grim” managed to have it increased to eight) would celebrate mass continuously for the benefit of the souls of Archibald Douglas, his family and any other whom he might name, to shorten their time in Purgatory. The Collegiate Church of Bothwell was dedicated on October 10, 1398, two years before Archibald Douglas died.
The current building contains stained glass windows by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Gordon Webster, Douglas Strachan and beautiful embroideries – “The Bothwell Embroideries”.
The elegance of the long aisle combined with the ancient intimacy of the choir are amongst the reasons why the church is a popular venue for both large society weddings and more private services.
Keep this special sanctuary alive for future generations in Bothwell: – find out about the vital restoration work