The other top visitor attraction on the
Isle of Bute is Mount Stuart, a huge mansion
house situated 4 miles south of Rothesay.
Mount Stuart has connections to Rothesay
Rothesay Castle on the Isle of Bute
750s - the Norse / Vikings start to take
control of islands in the north and west of
1098, a Norse king named Magnus Barelegs
built a wooden fort at Rothesay.
1200s early, William the Lion, King of
Scotland, takes control of the Firth of Clyde
and Isle of Bute area from the Norse.
1200s early, William the Lion awards the
lands of the Isle of Bute to his relations
1200s early, Rothesay Castle is built for
the Stewards where the Norse fort had stood.
The Stewards are known as the High Stewards
1230, the Norse capture the castle after a
three day siege. They failed to hold on to
the castle for long.
1263, the Norse under Haakon IV attack
Rothesay Castle but fail to take control.
1263 2nd October, the Norse engage the
Scots troops of King Alexander III at Largs
on the Scottish mainland.
The Battle of Largs is indecisive, but
leads to the Norse withdrawing from the
1266, the Treaty of Perth sees the Norse
agree to the Western Isles being ruled by
1290s, forces of the English King Edward I
took control of Rothesay Castle during the
First Scottish War of Independence.
1306, the Scots re-take the castle after a
naval attack led by Sir Robert Boyd of
Cunningham, fighting for Robert the Bruce,
King of Scotland.
1333, the English re-take Rothesay Castle
for a short time after the Battle of Halidon
Hill, during the Second Scottish War of
1371, the death of King David II (Bruce)
led to the crown passing to Robert Stewart,
High Steward of Scotland.
Robert Stewart was the grandson of Robert
the Bruce, first of the Stewart kings, with
Rothesay Castle then becoming a royal
1540s, the gatehouse / tower house, was
built for more luxurious accommodation and a
great hall for entertaining.
1650 - 1659, during the English Civil War,
the castle was occupied by forces of Oliver
1685, Archibald Campbell, Earl of Argyll,
caused serious damage to the castle when he
led a revolt against King James VII (II of
England). The castle fell into a ruin from
1707, the union between Scotland and
England leads to Scotland becoming a safer
place. Scottish landowners soon begin
building grand mansions to live in rather
than their castles.
1800s early, the gatehouse of Rothesay
Castle was used as a powder store during the
1870s, Mount Stuart House is built on the
Isle of Bute for John Crichton-Stuart, 3rd
Marquess of Bute.
1872 - 1879, Rothesay Castle is partially
restored for the 3rd Marquess of Bute.
1951, the castle was gifted to Historic
Scotland to serve as a museum. The Green Lady
ghost is soon seen by some visitors.
2015, Sally the Seagull nicks three golf
balls from Rothesay Golf Club and takes them
to her nest on top of the castle, two Top
Flite and one Ultra. Sally