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Mount Stuart

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Mount-Stuart, a seat of the Marquis of Bute, in Kingarth parish, Bute island, Buteshire, within ¼ mile of the E coast and 5 miles SSE of Rothesay, from which it is approached by a splendid avenue 1 ¼ mile long. The original mansion, built in 1712-18 by the second Earl of Bute, was a spacious but very plain edifice, consisting of a main block (200 x 50 feet), with wings to the W of both the N and S gables. This main block was destroyed by fire on 3 Dec. 1877, the damage being estimated at £14, 000; but a beautiful Catholic chapel, which had been recently formed in the N wing, was saved, besides the plate, much of the furniture, Rubens' portrait of himself, Kneller's portrait of Lady Mary Wortley Montague, and paintings by Nasmyth, Ramsay, etc. As rebuilt since 1879, from designs by Mr Rowand Anderson, at a cost approaching £200,000, Mount Stuart is a magnificent Gothic pile (230 x 150 feet). The great central hall (60 feet square) is surrounded on all sides by a marble Gothic arcade; and to right and left of it are the dining and drawing rooms (each 58 x 22 feet). The outer walls of the first and second floors are of reddish sandstone, but the upper story is brick, with oak frame. Special features of the exterior are the high-pitched roofs and dormers, the angle turrets, the corbelled oriel windows, and a stone balustrade in front of an open gallery. Sir John Steuart, a natural son of Robert II., received from his father about 1385 a grant of lands in the isle of Bute, along with the hereditary office of sheriff of Bute and Arran. His sixth descendant, Sir James Stuart, was created a baronet in 1627; and his grandson, Sir James, in 1703 was raised to the peerage as Earl of Bute, Viscount Kingarth, and Lord Mountstuart, Cumra, and Inchmarnock. John, third Earl (1713-92), played a leading part in the first three years of the reign of George III.; and John, his son (1744-1814), in 1796 was created Marquis of Bute in the peerage of the United Kingdom. His great-grandson, Sir John Patrick Crichton-Stuart, present and third Marquis (b. 1847; suc. 1848), holds 29,279 acres in Buteshire and 43,734 in Ayrshire, valued at £19, 575 and £25,263 per annum. He was admitted into the Catholic Church in 1868.—Ord. Sur., sh. 29, 1873. See also Dumfries House.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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