Rothesay Castle is situated in the
town of Rothesay on the Isle of Bute,
42 miles west of Glasgow, with regular
Trains between Glasgow and Wemyss
Bay, where there are regular Ferries.
The original Castle was built from the
early 1200s for Walter Stewart, 3rd High
Steward of Scotland, when Scottish Kings
were trying to take control of the
Western Isles. Many of the Western Isles
had been under control of the Norse since
The Castle is open for visits 1st
April - 31st October, 7 days, 10.00am -
5.45pm, 1 Oct - 31 Mar, 10am to 4pm,
closed Thurs and Fri in winter. Postcode:
See also a large Click On Map for the Island Top
The image top is from the Main Square in
Rothesay looking towards the Castle. The Main
Square is next to the Ferry Terminal in
The next images are of the entrance to
Rothesay Castle, with a Bridge across the
One of the first rooms has a video giving
the the History of the Castle.
The Great Hall is the most impressive part
of the Castle, with good views over the
The Chapel is in the Courtyard, with steps
next to the Chapel to the top of the Ramparts
for great views over the Town, and over to the
Rothesay Castle History
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 the
1200s early - Rothesay Castle is built for
the Stewards where the Norse fort had stood.
The Stewards are known as the High Stewards of
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 Western
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
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 that
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
1800s early - the gatehouse of Rothesay
Castle was used as a Gun Powder store during
the Napoleonic Wars.
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, taking them to
her nest on top of the Castle, two Top Flite
and one Ultra. Sally Photo.