Basic Site Details

Name: Mount Stuart
Town, district or village: Rothesay (near)
Island: Bute
City or county: Bute
Country: Scotland
Parish: Kingarth
Status:  
Grid ref:
Notes: The house was badly damaged by fire in December 1877. Proposals for reconstruction prepared by Robert Rowand Anderson

Plans have been prepared by Mr Anderson, architect, of Edinburgh, for the rebuilding of Mount Stuart House on the Firth of Clyde for the Marquis of Bute, on the former site, leaving the wings as they were before the fire in December, 1877. The new design contemplates a large addition to the main building, which will comprise a magnificent central hall, with suites of rooms on either side. Lord Bute has approved the plans, and tenders are about to be invited for the work. [Building News 24 January 1879 p107]

The destruction by fire, some two years ago, of Lord Bute's mansion of Mount Stuart afforded an opportunity for rebuilding the same. In designing the new house, Mr R Anderson, ARSA, proposes to place upon the same site a pile of buildings 120 feet square. Tlie main entrance, approached through a handsome carriage-porch, is placed at a comer of the block. Immediately within the doorway is an outer lobby, some 22 feet square, from which a short flight of steps leads, through folding doors, to an inner lobby, to the right of which a large arched doorway opens upon the great central hall of the mansion. Measuring 60 feet square from wall to wall, and 33 feet square within the arcade, which is carried round all four sides, this superb hall rises, above the top of the first floor, into a square tower, -with roof of groined vaulting and three pointed windows in each side to give light to the interior. The lower arcade has large pointed arches, the roof of the passage which runs round, between pillars and waU, being formed of groined stonework. Over this vaulting is a corridor looking out upon the hall through a second arcade, whose arched openings, smaller than those of the lower tier, are arranged in pairs. The corridor gives access to the principal bedrooms and other apartments occupying the first floor; itself being reached by a staircase rising from the inner end of the hall. The architectural details are carried out in the Early Decorated style. The architect has resolved to adopt the system of double walls, with a vacant space between. There will accordingly be an outside wall of reddish freestone, and within this, at the distance of a foot, an inner wall of brick, which will carry the beams supporting the floors on projecting stone corbels.
[Building News 25 July 1879 page 109]


The gardens were later redesigned by Thomas Mawson. Graeme More writes: Mawson was at work here before 1897. He designed the rockery immediately behind the house, which is largely intact, though replanted several times. He also planned woodland walks and water gardens some of which remain. Gibson made designs for a Via Dolorosa, which was abandoned at an early stage when the Marquis of Bute died in 1900. The paths and the heart-shaped 'Calvary Pond' at the summit were done, but none of the buildings, and Gibson's own drawings were lost.'

Building Type Classification

The building is classified under the following categories:
 ClassificationOriginal classification?Notes
Item 1 of 1Country House  

Events

The following date-based events are associated with this building:
 FromToEvent typeNotes
Item 1 of 2017181722Build/construction 
Item 2 of 201769 Plans drawn upFor alterations to house.
Item 3 of 2017801781Alterations and additionsRepairs and alterations including addition of staircase towers flanking the main block (see Watts: 'Views of Seats')
Item 4 of 20After 1867Before 1897 Landscaping work
Item 5 of 2018731875Alteration/conversionSmall room in North wing reconstructed as chapel oratory. Also detailed survey work for restoration. Paintings by Harland & Fisher Dec 1972-August 1873
Item 6 of 201876 Build/constructionRe-decoration, staircase etc for visit of Prince Leopold - Thomas Nicholls and Campbell Smith responsible. Bute designed drawing room which Burges disliked.
Item 7 of 20December 1877 Destruction/demolitionDestruction by fire. Main block destroyed leaving McGill's pavilions
Item 8 of 2018791884ReconstructionFrom 1879 onwards. Rebuilding for the 3rd Marquess of Bute. New house complete structurally by December 1884.
Item 9 of 20c. 1880  Fitting of dining room and 3 principal bedrooms
Item 10 of 2018861889AdditionDecoration (designs of Rowand Anderson?) carried out. Campbell Smith, H W Lonsdale and Thomas Nicholls were craftsmen. See Crook (2013) for detialed account) - chimneypieces, panelling, doorcases and ceilings (some of Anderson's woodwork discarded as not good enough) and the astrologival sitting room in its entirety.
Item 11 of 201894 CompletionHall floor completed. Porte cochere built.
Item 12 of 2018951896 Tables for Lady Bute's bedroom
Item 13 of 201896  Furniture for Lord Dumfries's bedroom
Item 14 of 201897  Marble steps to bowling green. Marble blaustrades in gallery of hall.
Item 15 of 2018971898 Stamped leather for library
Item 16 of 2018981900 Architectural and associated garden work (not fully executed) Stations of the Cross, Cavalry walk and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Item 17 of 201898 CompletionChapel structurally completed
Item 18 of 201900  Frieze of herons for library
Item 19 of 2019051906 Furniture for Great Bedroom
Item 20 of 20Before 1975 RestorationNorth Wing

People

Design and Construction

The following individuals or organisations have carried out design/construction work. Where architects or practices worked together, matching letters appear beside their names in the Partnership Group column.
 NameRolePartnership GroupFromToNotes
Item 1 of 23Alexander McGillArchitectM17181722 
Item 2 of 23James CraigArchitectU1769 Design for alterations drawn up. Not executed.
Item 3 of 23George PatersonArchitectF17801781Repairs and alterations including addition of staircase towers flanking the main block (see Watts: 'Views of Seats')
Item 4 of 23Edward La Trobe BatemanArchitect After 1867Before 1897Landscaping work
Item 5 of 23William BurgesArchitectS18731875Small room in North wing reconstructed as chapel oratory. Also detailed survey work for restoration. Paintings by Harland & Fisher Dec 1972-August 1873.
Item 6 of 23William BurgesArchitectT1873 Dining room at Mount Stuart - burnt December 1877. Carver Thomas Nicholls and painting Campbell Smith & Co.
Item 7 of 23(Sir) Robert Rowand AndersonArchitectA1878After 1896Rebuilding for 3rd Marquess of Bute; first proposals (1878) were for reconstruction of Alexander McGill house, burnt Dec 1877; alternative proposal for entirely new house at Torr Wood not pursued. Plans for new house on existing site complete by Oct 1879. Porte cochere built.
Item 8 of 23George Mackie WatsonArchitectA18791892Rebuilding - as apprentice/assistant/chief assistant to Robert Rowand Anderson
Item 9 of 23Thomas Rollo Walker MossmanArchitectA18791887Rebuilding - as apprentice/assistant to Robert Rowand Anderson
Item 10 of 23William FrameArchitect 1880 Fitting of dining room and 3 principal bedrooms
Item 11 of 23William FrameArchitectK18861889Decoration (designs of Rowand Anderson?) carried out. Campbell Smith, H W Lonsdale and Thomas Nicholls were craftsmen. See Crook (2013) for detialed account) - chimneypieces, panelling, doorcases and ceilings (some of Anderson's woodwork discarded as not good enough) and the astrologival sitting room in its entirety.
Item 12 of 23Robert Weir SchultzArchitectB18951896Tables for Lady Bute's bedroom
Item 13 of 23Robert Weir SchultzArchitectC1896 Furniture for Lord Dumfries's bedroom
Item 14 of 23James Forbes SmithArchitect c. 1896 As assistant to Robert Rowand Anderson - rebuilding for 3rd Marquess of Bute
Item 15 of 23Robert Weir SchultzArchitectD1897 Marble steps to bowling green
Item 16 of 23Robert Weir SchultzArchitectE18971898Stamped leather for library
Item 17 of 23Dan GibsonArchitectH18981899Architectural work in association with Mawson's garden work including chapel in the grounds, oratories and cross and other small works of garden architecture - not executed. Stations of the Cross, Cavalry walk and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Item 18 of 23Mawson & GibsonArchitectural practiceH18981899Architectural work in association with Mawson's garden work including chapel in the grounds, oratories and cross and other small works of garden architecture - not executed. (Stations of the Cross, Cavalry walk and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.)
Item 19 of 23Thomas Hayton MawsonGarden designer, Landscape architect, Town PlannerH18981899Garden work - not executed. James Pulham & Son, rock garden and cascade specialists also involved. Stations of the Cross, Cavalry walk and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Item 20 of 23(Sir) Robert Rowand AndersonArchitectV1898 Chapel structurally completed
Item 21 of 23Robert Weir SchultzArchitectF1900 Frieze of herons for library
Item 22 of 23Robert Weir SchultzArchitectG19051906Furniture for Great Bedroom
Item 23 of 23John Robertson NotmanArchitectHBefore 1975 Restoration of North Wing

Clients

The following individuals or organisations have commissioned work on this building/design:
 NameNotes
Item 1 of 3Bute, 2nd Earl ofClient for McGill work
Item 2 of 3Bute, 3rd Earl ofClient for 1780s work (and for Craig unextecuted plans of 1769).
Item 3 of 3Bute, 3rd Marquess ofClient for several pices of work including 1898-9 work by Mawson & Gibson. The Marquis died in 1900 so proposed work must date from before then.

References

Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this building:
 Author(s)DateTitlePartPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 12Colvin, Howard2008A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840 London: YUP. 4th editionInformation also via A A Tait and John G Dunbar
Item 2 of 12Crook, J Mordaunt2013William Burges and the High Victorian Dream Frances Lincoln (New edition)plate 185 (illus), 195, 273-4 and 276-279
Item 3 of 12Hannah, Rosemary2003St Sophia's Church, Galston, the vast space of the interiorv46Architectural History, v46, 2003, p255-268p110-112, 134, 141, 184-5 (plan of old Mount Stuart illustrated), 193-210
Item 4 of 12Mawson, Thomas H1927The Life and Works of an English Landscape Architect  p56
Item 5 of 12McKinstry, Sam1991Rowand Anderson, the Premier Architect of Scotland Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Presspp78-80
Item 6 of 12RIBA1975RIBA Directory of practices   
Item 7 of 12Russell, F2004John, Third Earl of Bute  p180-181
Item 8 of 12Stamp, Gavin1981Robert Weir Schultz, Architect, and his work for the Marquesses of Bute  London: The Curwen Press / Mount Stuartp38
Item 9 of 12Taylor, Kristina and Peel, Robert1021Passion, plants and patronage: 300 years of Bute Family Landscapes Artifice Booksp41
Item 10 of 12Walker, F A2000Argyll and Bute (The Buildings of Scotland)  pp609-11
Item 11 of 12Watts, W1785Views of Seats  Plate lxxiii
Item 12 of 12Waymark, Janet2009Thomas Mawson: Life, Gardens and Landscape Frances Lincoln Ltd. Londonp231, pp87-88 (Illus)

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this building:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 4BuilderLate 1916CXI p84
Item 2 of 4Building News24 January 1879  p107
Item 3 of 4Building News25 July 1879  p109
Item 4 of 4Scotsman29 July 2009  Obituary of Notman

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this building:
 SourceArchive nameSource catalogue no.Notes
Item 1 of 8Edinburgh University LibraryAnderson Collection (Plans and drawings)  
Item 2 of 8Historic Environment ScotlandListed Buildings Register12052 
Item 3 of 8Information courtesy of Graeme More who has specialist knowledge of Dan GibsonInformation via website (from Graeme More)  
Item 4 of 8Mount StuartBute Archives Letter from Daniel Richmond to Bute 19 June 1873; letter books 1897-1900.

Payments to Mr Craig architect for 'boarding' during the five weeks he spent at Mount Stuart making survey and drawing up plans.
Item 5 of 8Mount StuartBute Archives Drawings (McGill)
Item 6 of 8National Library of WalesMSS collectionMS 5319/29Letter from John Adam to Baron Muir confirms payment to Craig for baording at Mount Stuart.
Item 7 of 8National Monuments Record of Scotland/NMRS, RCAHMSWatherston CollectionBUD/7/2-3Drawing by Craig
Item 8 of 8RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers Thomas Rollo Walker Mossman: L v10 no586 (microfilm reel 32); James Forbes Smith: L v11 no656 (microfilm reel 33); George Mackie Watson: L v21 no1659