David Hamilton, 1833; adjoining original 1398 choir to E, restored, 1898 by Sir Robert Rowand Anderson. Rectangular-plan Late Perpendicular Gothic church with pinnacled buttresses dividing bays and to angles; single storey rectangular-plan castellated entrance porch to centre; 3-stage pinnacled tower to rear between old and new structures. Droved pink sandstone ashlar with polished ashlar dressings. Base course; cornice to porch; gabled string course to central buttresses at ground; hoodmoulds over windows; cornice and blocking course to gable. Pointed-arched windows with chamfered and moulded reveals; stone mullions and transoms.
W (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: 3-bay; bipartite window to entrance porch with quatrefoil motif to castellated blocking course above; gabled door projection to N side of porch with part-glazed 2-leaf timber panelled door. Tall perpendicular traceried window in bay to centre; polygonal finial and crucifix to galbehead above. Plate traceried window in each bay flanking.
N (SIDE) ELEVATION: 9-bay, grouped 5-3 with 5-bay 19th century structure to left and 4-bay 14th century structure to right. 19th century block to left: plate traceried window in each of 4 bays to left with stepped buttresses dividing bays; window in remaining gabled bay with pinnacled buttresses flanking; pointed-arched niche to gablehead. 4-bay 14th century block to right: nook shafts to basket- arched doorway in bay to left of centre; deep-set boarded door with decorative wrought-iron hinges; multi-moulded traceried window above. Window in bay to left with inscribed memorial plaque below. Window in bay to right with triple gabled memorial below. Window in bay to outer right.
S (SIDE) ELEVATION: 9-bay, similar treatment to N elevation; lean-to buttressed projection in bay to left of centre of 14th century block with free-standing tall, polygonal stack flanking.
E (REAR) ELEVATION: steeply pitched single gabled bay with multi-moulded traceried window flanked by buttresses; crucifix finial to gablehead above; deep-set carved stone memorial niche set to right below.
TOWER: 3-stage tower to Hamilton church, sited between old and new structures. String course dividing each stage; hood moulds over openings; cornice and castellated blocking course above. Stepped angle buttresses; pinnacle to each angle. Clock to each face at 1st stage. Traceried window to each side at 2nd stage. Trefoil-headed, triple louvered opening within square recess to each face at 3rd stage.
Fixed leaded stained glass windows. Grey slate roof; stone slabbed roof to 14th century choir. Ashlar coped skews; cast-iron rainwater goods with decorative hoppers.
INTERIOR: wide aisleless hall church with boarded timber roof; exposed tie beams and braces; narthex/vestibule with pillared arcade at west end; tall pointed arch at crossing with lower arches flanking. Timber pews; carved pentagonal pulpit with timber canopy set against crossing pier; carved stone octagonal font on marble pedestal to N transept; organ pipes set high above. Ribbed pointed barrel-vaulted roof to choir with large stained glass window and wall-mounted memorials to the Duke of Hamilton (1634-1694) and the Earls of Douglas. The former was originally erected in the now demolished kirk of Hamilton, from which it was transferred in 1852. It is made from black and white marble and Caen stone, the latter originally painted to imitate the former. Barleysugar columns with Corinthian capitals support a deep and decorative cornice. They flank a central urn on an inscribed base and cherubs frolic amongst clouds and drapery above. Slightly more reserved is the monument to the Earls of Douglas who named the church after their patron saint.
GATEPIERS AND BOUNDARY WALLS: octagonal-plan red sandstone ashlar piers; plinths; raised stylised ogee-headed panels to every other side; string course, cornice and curved dentilled cap. Wrought-iron and glass octagonal (converted) gas lamps above. Low bull-faced red sandstone walls with ridged ashlar cope.
GRAVEYARD: walled graveyard situated to N of church with entrance to N. Squared sandstone rubble walls with curved stugged ashlar cope. Square-plan sandstone ashlar piers with string course and shallow pyramidal caps; wrought-iron gate. Graveyard mainly contains 18th and 19th century headstones.
Statement of Special Interest
Ecclesiastical building in use as such. Consisting of a 14th century choir and a 19th century church, now integrated as one, St Bride's is an important landmark in Bothwell. The old collegiate church situated to the E (rear) of the present church is the original church at Bothwell, founded in 1398 by Archibald the Grim, Earl of Douglas (who married Johanna Moray, heiress of Bothwell). The master mason was Thomas Tron, a fact preserved by an inscription to the rear or the building. It is an example of Second Pointed Gothic architecture and it retains its original roof, one of the few such examples in Scotland. It is unique, with a pointed barrel vault with six moulded ribs supported on moulded corbels. It is covered in large stone slabs, each weighing 2cwts, making the entire roof weight around 100 tons. Despite its early date, the 14th century Gothic choir seems to have had even earlier predecessors, as it is believed that there may have been a chapel on this site since the 6th century, and fragments unearthed during the reconstruction of the church in 1933 show evidence of a 12th century Norman building on the site.
The present 14th century Gothic building now acts as the choir to the 19th century church built by David Hamilton (also responsible for buildings such as Hutcheson?s Hospital and Glasgow Royal Exchange) in 1833. However, by 1822 the original choir had fallen into disrepair until Sir Robert Rowand Anderson restored it in 1898, the 500th anniversary of its foundation. In 1933, according to plans by J J Waddell, the two buildings were harmoniously integrated at a cost of #10 000. Integration involved the complete gutting of the interior of Hamilton's church, stripping the plastered walls, removal of the gallery and ceiling and lowering the floor level to that of the choir. A massive steel structure was introduced to support the tower, beneath which a central arch was constructed to lead into the crossing. The old vestry to the west end was transformed into a narthex. Hamilton's 19th century building is Late Decorated Perpendicular Gothic in style and the hoodmoulds over the aisle windows terminate in carvings of the faces of various local personalities; one has been identified as Meg Steel, one time landlady of nearby Douglas Arms (see separate list description), William Allan, a local school teacher, and James Watson, a local gravedigger. The impressive stained glass window at the east end was designed by Burne-Jones and depicts the Nativity.
There is also fine stained glass by Christopher Whall within the chapel, and some late medieval Flemish painted glass