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  Cadzow Castle, Duke's Bridge and Ch‚telherault, Hamilton, South Lanarkshire  
                 
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© RCAHMS
 

Aerial view from south-west, 1997
Cadzow, the original Hamilton, was a medieval settlement which stood on the river plain close to the confluence of the Cadzow Burn and the River Clyde, associated with a castle which is now a tree-shrouded motte or earthwork mound to the north of the mausoleum. Shifting from the 'Nethertoun' to the 'Hietoun' on the western edge of the plain, by the 15th century the town had become Hamilton and a stone castle of Hamilton, otherwise known as The Orchard, had been built on the site which later developed into Hamilton Palace. Confusingly, Cadzow, the name of the medieval barony, came to be applied to a castle in the High Parks which is identifiable as 'the Castle in the Wood of Hamilton', a bolt-hole for the Hamiltons in the 1570s. It has been known as Cadzow Castle only since the late 18th or early 19th centuries when it was viewed as a picturesque, Romantic 'ivy mantled' ruin in the landscape, immortalised in Sir Walter Scott's Ballad of Cadyow Castle.

 
                 
 

The ruins of what is today known as Cadzow Castle occupy a dramatic cliff-top site high above the wooded gorge of the Avon Water close to the lofty Duke's Bridge (1863), on the opposite bank from Ch‚telherault (top right). The remains, visible in the centre right of this image, consist of what was once a strong, well-fortified tower (right) reinforced with purposeful angle-turrets set in a surrounding ditch and associated with ranges of domestic buildings (left) and a walled outer court, all evidently dating from the first half of the 16th century and abandoned after its destruction following a siege in 1579.

Cadzow Castle is likely to have been a product of Sir James Hamilton of Finnart, half-brother and Guardian of the 2nd Earl of Arran (d.1575). Until his spectacular fall from grace as the king's Master of Works in 1540 when he was executed, Hamilton of Finnart was associated with numerous campaigns of building during the reign of his cousin, King James V (1513-42). There are close similarities in design between Cadzow and Craignethan Castle, Finnart's own Clydesdale property which survives more completely intact some 16km to the south-east of Hamilton.

 
                 
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