Isle of Bute Discovery Centre

(Winter Garden)

Isle of Bute Discovery Centre, Rothesay
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Isle of Bute Discovery Centre, Rothesay

Located on the Esplanade in Rothesay, overlooking Rothesay Bay, the Isle of Bute Discovery Centre provides tourist information for the island, together with interactive exhibits illustrating local attractions and historical insights into life on Bute. The award-winning centre includes a restaurant, Genealogy Centre and the 90-seater Discovery Theatre, which serves as Rothesay's cinema. There is also a memorial to tragic singer Lena Zavaroni (1963-99).

The centre is located in the Winter Garden, a Grade-A listed building which was erected in 1924 under the direction of Alexander Stephen, Rothesay's Burgh Engineer. A circular cast iron and glass structure which was prefabricated at the noted Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, the building features a shallow dome 25m (82 feet) in diameter, two square corner towers with pagoda-shaped roofs and Art Nouveau decorations on the iron-work.

After years of decline, it closed in 1976 and was threatened with demolition. Following a complete restoration, the building reopened in 2001.

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