I was recently sent this nice engraving of Bothwell Bridge (of a copy of it), from Edward Stanley. Pictured in 1859, the bridge still looks very rural and sleepy. The large central tower than once adorned the bridge in earlier centuries is gone and the structure takes on a more familiar appearance as it looks today.
Indeed much of the bridge appears to have been rebuilt in the 1820’s.
In 1822, it was widened by 22 foot, modernised and the approaches levelled with the addition of massive supporting masonry abutments. In the late 1890s, footpaths were added. Then, the completion of the East Kilbride Expressway and renovation of Bothwell Road gave it its more level appearance and approaches that we see today.
Speaking of the previous bridge, a man who wrote this died in Edinburgh on 5th June 1767. At a time before the Covenanter’s Battle, the previous bridge was described as, “About a short half mile east from the Kirk stands the famous bridge called Bothwell Bridge, upon the river of Clyde consisting of four arches. Here all passengers whether on horseback or on foot as likeways all kinds of merchandize pay a small custom to the town of Hamiltoun. The bridge indeed belongs to the Government, but it is sett in tack to the toun of Hamilton who are allowed to exact custom of the leidges, for upholding the bridge.”