Bothal Castle, Northumberland
Bothal, near Morpeth
Bothal Castle is a stunning private castle located close to the road and river. A ruined curtain wall 3 feet thick and up to 14 feet high surrounds a courtyard. A gatehouse with portcullis in terrific condition can be found at the north-east corner.
A lovely picturesque castle.
~ History ~
1150 ~ Richard Bertram builds a castle on a low spur above the River Wansbeck.
1343 ~ Robert Bertram is granted a license to crenellate his manor house of 'Bothale". He builds a gatehouse on the site of the motte.
1346 ~ Following the resounding victory over the French at Crecy by King Edward III, the French King Philip invokes the terms of the Auld Alliance and asks his ally, King David II of Scotland, to retaliate by invading England.
After rampaging their way through Northumberland for a few weeks, the 12,000 strong Scottish army arrive outside the gates of Durham.
Waiting for their payment of £1,000 in protection money to arrive, the Scots are blissfully unaware that an English force comprising some 7,000 men raised from the northern counties of England, have been quickly mobilised by William Zouche, the Archbishop of York.
The Scots only discover the presence of the English army when they stumble upon them in the morning mist.
With the English positioned on the better ground, the invaders find themselves disadvantaged by the uneven ground and their formations fall apart as they try to advance.
Sensing defeat and now out manoeuvred, many of the Scottish nobles flee the field, abandoning King David II and his bodyguard to face the enemy alone.
The battle is disastrous for the Scots, as not only is their king captured and imprisoned, but later leads to the English driving home their advantage and occupy virtually all of southern Scotland.
During the taking of Scottish nobles, Robert captures the Earl of Wigtown at the Battle of Neville's Cross, but later allows him to escape
Upon discovering this, King Edward III imprisons Robert in the Tower of London for almost a year.
1362 ~ Following Robert's death the baronry passes to his daughter Helen, married to Robert Ogle.
1405 ~ Robert Ogle's son, also named Robert, obtains possession of the castle. He later grants Bothal to his second son John, who assumes the surname Bertram.
1410 ~ Following the death of Robert, his elder brother marches on John's castle with 200 men-at-arms and archers, and storms it following a four day siege. He is persuaded to leave three months later after £200 worth of damage has been caused.
1460s ~ John's decendants hold on the castle is short-lived after his elder brothers descendants manage to obtain the castle, this time through the courts.
1576 ~ The castle is recorded as being substantial and in good condition.
1620's ~ The castle passes through marriage to the Cavendish Earl of Newcastle.
1694 ~ Bothal passes to John Holles, Earl of Clare and Duke of Newcastle, and later to Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford.
By this time the castle is recorded as being ruined with some repairs made by Earl Robert.
Following Roberts death the castle again passes through marriage, to the Dukes of Portland, and later forming part of the Welbeck estate.