History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The interiors are superb, centred around a fabulous great hall. The other high point is the superb chapel, a symphony of white marble. The interior chambers feature rich decoration, and a collection of historic paintings, with works by Ramsay, Reynolds, and Gainsborough. Throughout the house are religious and astrological symbols meant to express the 3rd Marquess's philosophy.
There was a Mount Stuart House before the present building. The previous Mount Stuart was designed in the early 18th century. This was destroyed by fire in 1887, providing the opportunity for the Marquis of Bute to create a new house that better expressed his artistic and religious ideals.
The major rooms of Mount Stuart include the stupendous Marble Hall. This extraordinary chamber rises 80 feet to a domed ceiling, where glittering stones map the stars in the heavens. Stained glass windows around the dome depict astrological signs. The hall was designed to impress, and to convey a sense of mystery and mysticism.
The Dining Room features fireplaces rescued from the original Mount Stuart house, and serves as a showcase for a superb set of 18th-century portraits. The Marble staircase features Biblical wall paintings and heraldic stained glass windows.
High above, the vaulted ceiling glitters with stars. The 3rd Marquess's fascination with astrology is encountered once again in the Horoscope Room, which served his sitting room. Here, the ceiling is painted with astrological symbols depicting the position of the planets at the moment of his birth.
Further noteworthy rooms on view include the Purple Library, Lady Bute's Room, the Drawing Room, and the Marble Chapel, which we've already mentioned. Taken as a whole, the interior of Mount Stuart is an enormously satisfying place to visit, an extraordinary testament to one man's unique vision.
The house stands in 300 acres of woodland, parkland, and formal gardens. Within the gardens are a kitchen garden designed by Rosemary Verney, a Victorian pinetum, rockery, arboretum, and exotic garden.
Editor's note: I've not always been a big fan of Victorian Gothic, but I have to say that Mount Stuart is a marvellous place to visit. The house is extraordinary, and the gardens provide plenty of variety and wonderful walks. You WILL enjoy yourself! I certainly did, and would happily visit again.
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About Mount Stuart
Address: Rothesay, Isle of Bute, Isle of Bute, Argyll and Bute, Scotland, PA20 9LR
Attraction Type: Historic House
Location: 5 miles south of Rothesay, Pierhead
Website: Mount Stuart
Historic Houses Association
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Ascog Hall Garden and Fernery - 2.2 miles (Garden)
Blackpark Standing Stones - 2.6 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Rothesay, St Mary's Chapel - 2.9 miles (Historic Church)
Stravanan Bay Stone Row - 3 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Scalpsie Bay and Seals - 3.2 miles (Countryside)
Ardencraig Gardens - 3.2 miles (Garden)
Craigberoch Standing Stone - 3.3 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Kelspoke Castle - 3.3 miles (Castle)
Nearest Accommodation to Mount Stuart:
Nearby accommodation is calculated 'as the crow flies' from Mount Stuart. 'Nearest' may involve a long drive up and down glens or, if you are near the coast, may include a ferry ride! Please check the property map to make sure the location is right for you.