Saturday, 4 July 2009

Bothwell Parish Church (St. Bride's Collegiate Church)

Bothwell Parish Church is located in South Lanarkshire, Scotland. It is touted as "The Oldest Collegiate Church in Scotland". Archibald Douglas (also known as 'Black Archibald') the third Earl of Douglas originally founded the church in 1398. However, during reconstruction in the 1930's, stone fragments dating from the 13th c. were found.

St. Bride's in fact occupies the site of a church that stood there in the 6th c. Archibald's body was laid to rest in St. Bride's: unfortunately, his tomb no longer exists.

It is an absolutely beautiful church. The interior is incredible and the stained glass work is absolutely stunning. The back of the church where the choir sits is the oldest part. The graveyard is equally noteworthy, with unique enclosures that almost resemble bird cages to save the interred from the feared body-snatchers that terrorized Scotland in the 18th and 19th centuries. See more pictures here.

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