Sunday, 18th June, 2023

We had a really good buffet breakfast at our accommodation before setting off to Mount Stuart House.

We were sad to leave the lovely old Glenburn Hotel. It was comfortable, the shower was excellent and the views spectacular!

Mount Stuart House is only a few minutes' drive from Rothesay. The house was built for The 3rd Marquess of Bute in the late 19th century (after the previous house was destroyed in a fire in 1877). "The main part of the present house is a flamboyant example of 19th-century Gothic Revival architecture, built in a reddish-brown stone. Mount Stuart's major features include the colonnaded Marble Hall at the centre of the main block and the Marble Chapel, which has an elaborate spired tower which is the tallest part of the building." It is claimed that it was the first house in Scotland to have electricity and a lift, and the first in the world to have a heated indoor swimming pool!

In order to see the house, one must go on a guided tour. This is always a mixed blessing because everything depends on the knowledge and capability of the guide (ours was excellent) and the amount of time given to "take everything in". This was a little lacking on this tour. It was still a great privilege to see inside such a magnificent building. We were told that the Marquess was in charge of a third of the gross domestic product of Britain at the time the house was built, so money was not a problem!

We had some time before our tour began at 11:30am so we explored some of the exterior of the house and the Rock Garden.

Satoshi with a huge Japanese Maple.

The exterior of the Chapel.

I believe this is a flowereing Dogwood tree (or cornus)

Note the lion's tongue!

There were many magnificent stained glass windows in the house!

This wonderful clock's case is an example of the work of Chippendale.

The Chapel - all marble!

Detail of one of the benches seen above

The next few photos were taken in the Hall

One of the several tapestries adorning the walls of the hall

Looking at the ceiling

The windows around the top of the hall depict the signs of the Zodiac. The mall white circles are an accurate depiction of the constellation of each one.

Of course, no hall is complete without a pipe organ!

The Dining Room

It is said that "the devil is in the detail" but here it is simply amazing. The frieze around the ceiling in the dining room is intricately carved.

The Library contained 25,000 books

Views of the hall from the first floor

Helen of Troy (admiring herself in a mirror!)

Part of the ceiling of the hall depicts Greek goddesses

Detail of above

At the time of the death of the 3rd Marquess, the house was not complete. The 4th Marquess didn't like the house, spent very little time in it and had little interest in finishing it. The above two photos show an example of this. The carving in the first photo is incomplete and the 2nd shows what it should have been like.

One of the guest bedrooms was very pink!

The 3rd Marquess was very interested in St Margaret. Scenes of her life adorn the walls in his room.

The Conservatory

The fireplace in the conservatory.

The two photos above show details of the fireplace. The house is full of examples of humorous scenes such as this.

These carvings were commissioned by the 6th Marquess in the 1990s. There are 72 different panels in the room. He was the last to live in the house. It is now owned by a trust.

We had our lunch here. It was originally the kitchen.

We thoroughly enjoyed the tour and could have spent many more than one hour exploring and appreciating its wonderful interiors.

We explored some more of the garden. Here is a tree with Satoshi.

This is the gate of the Wee Garden which covers 17 acres!

Glenburn Hotel viewed from the township of Rothesay.

On the way back to the ferry, we came across St Paul's Scottish Episcopal Church, which was open!

The church was built in 1853 in the Victorian Gothic style.

The Lectern dates to 1890.

A banner depicting St Paul

St Michael (and Satan)

The view from the sanctuary looking west.

The Pulpit

The Christ of Revelation Chapter 1, with St John

St Andrew

St Columba preaching to the Picts

The Abbey at Iona

The Font

I really liked this poem by Malcom Guite. The words are:

A Last Beatitude

And blessed are the ones we overlook;
The faithful servers on the coffee rota,
The ones who hold no candle, bell or book
But keep the books and tally up the quota,
The gentle souls who come to 'do the flowers',
The quiet ones who organize the fete,
Church sitters who give up their weekday hours,
Doorkeepers who may open heaven's gate.
God knows the depths that often go unspoken
Amongst the shy, the quiet, and the kind,
Or the slow healing of a heart long broken,
Placing each flower so for a year's mind.
Invisible on earth, without a voice,
In heaven their angels glory and rejoice.

After an uneventful ferry crossing back to Weymss Bay, we made our way to the Holiday Inn Express in Glasgow. It seems that the weather has finally broken. It is much cooler this evening and, as I type this, it is raining outside.

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