Rothesay - Encyclopedia

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ROTHESAY, a royal, municipal and police burgh, and the chief town of the county and island of Bute, Scotland. Pop. (1901) 937 8. It is situated on a beautiful bay, 40 m. S.W. of Glasgow, with which there is regular communication by railway steamers from Wemyss Bay, Gourock, Greenock (Prince's Pier) and Craigendoran, as well as by many other steamers from Glasgow and the Clyde ports. It is a popular watering-place, and as the bay is sheltered by low wooded hills and affords excellent anchorage, it is well patronized by yachts. Loch Striven, on the opposite shore of Argyllshire, is known as the "Rothesay weather-glass," its appearance furnishing a certain clue to meteorological 'conditions. The town is under the jurisdiction of a provost and council. Rothesay has ceased to be a manufacturing centre, fishing being now its chief industry. Owing to its mild and equable climate t is a resort of invalids. There isQa tramway to Port Bannatyne, pleasantly situated on the east horn of Kames Bay, and Craigmore, about m. west of Rothesay, is a fashionable suburb. Ardbeg Point, Loch Fad, Loch Ascog and Barone Hill (S30 ft.) are all within a mile and a half of the town, and there are numerous excursions by road to other points of interest. The Kyles of Bute are within a short sail of Rothesay. In the centre of the town are the ruins of a castle erected in 1098 either by Magnus Barefoot, king of Norway, or by the Scots as a defence against the Norwegians, with whom during the 13th century, and earlier, there was constant strife. The village which grew up round the castle was made a royal burgh by Robert III., who, in 1398, created his eldest son David duke of Rothesay, a title which became the highest Scottish title of the heir-apparent to the crown of the United Kingdom. During the Commonwealth the castle was garrisoned by Cromwell's troops. It was burned by the followers of Argyll in 1685, and remained neglected till the rubbish was cleared away by the second marquess of Bute in 1816. It was repaired by the third marquess.

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