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Rothesay Castle

Rothesay Castle Description

Rothesay Castle is located in the centre of Rothesay.

This circular plan castle of enclosure still stands in its most, and is one of Scotland’s oldest castles. Entry is made over a wooden bridge to the Forework, which is a vaulted passage over which is the great hall. A ladder descends to the pit prison, which has a tiny window overlooking the moat.

The original entrance is located nearer the centre of the castle. Two stairs lead up to the 16th century great hall, restored in 1900 by the 3rd Marquess of Bute – the red sandstone indicates new work. This attractive hall has a large fireplace and displays.

Rothesay Castle History

Remains of the Chapel Royal of St Michael are located at the East Side of the courtyard, and are adorned with a modern wooden cross and plaque in memory of the 6th Marquess of Bute. The lower floor was a store, and the upper was the chapel, with a piscina and remnants of window tracery. A well survives in the courtyard.

Rothesay Castle was built in the 13th century by the Stewart kings, though it is claimed a castle stood here in 1098. Vikings captured it in 1230, Robert III died here in 1406. The gatehouse was completed in 1541.

The castle was destroyed in 1685 during Argyll’s Rebellion. The 3rd Marquess of Bute commenced restoration work in the late 19th century, commissioning William Burges to provide a plan. The castle was placed in state care in 1961, though the Marquess remains Hereditary Keeper.


Rothesay Castle is located in the Isle of Bute. The entrance fee to the castle is £4.00.

Rothesay Castle Map&Location

Rothesay Castle Address: Castlehill St, Isle of Bute, PA20 0DA, United Kingdom. Get help with directions using the map provided bellow:

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Rothesay Castle Photos

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Rothesay Castle courtyard
Rothesay Castle interior walls
Rothesay Castle keep
Rothesay Castle moat
Rothesay Castle ruins
Rothesay Castle - Photos source: