Friday, December 25, 2009

Isle of Bute: Rothesay Winter Gardens

When I began this blog I thought the Winter Gardens was the name given to the formal gardens alongside the Esplanade in Rothesay. I've now found out that it's actually the Grade A listed building in my photos below. Built in 1924, many famous music hall entertainers performed here. Redeveloped in the 1990s, it's now called The Discovery Centre, housing the tourist information office and shop, a 90-seat theatre/cinema, and restaurant.

The surrounding gardens are very attractive and well looked after.

The statue of Alexander Bannatyne Stewart (1836-1880), Convenor of Bute. He gave thousands of pounds of his own money to charities on the island and cultivated flowers at his house, Ascog Hall, growing superb varieties of orchids.

The statue is in a bit of a mess but there's not much that can be done to stop seagulls from standing on his head!

This one was drinking water from a hole on the putting green - I just missed a better photo when his whole head disappeared down the hole!

The Rothesay coat of arms on a post near the Winter Gardens


Anonymous said...

Very nice Jane, I'm itching to go back for a short break,but alas the family are not keen on the idea.

I don't blame your husband for not liking the pipes,it can be a bit of a din at times!

I've been to a few pipe band festivals but I struggle to get decent pictures,part of the reason is the way the bands perform,they stand in a small circle which makes it very tricky to get decent pictures.

I was at the pipe band festival in Glasgow Green a few years ago it was most enjoyable,I came close to buying a kilt!

I wonder if you have seen this?

I don't think Mr Salmond could afford it at the moment!


Derek Mathieson said...

great blog on the winter gardens and rothesay, I did shows there many moons ago when the crowds came 'doon the watter' for the fair fortnight, nice to see rothesay is still well looked after

Jane said...

Many thanks Derek, nice to hear from you!

(Thanks also Gerry - I hope I replied to this on your own blog at the time)

I'd love to go back to Rothesay - maybe in May when I'll be back in Scotland.

Anonymous said...

Loved seeing the photos of the Winter Gardens. My grandfather, Alexander Stephen, was in charge of having it all built many decades ago. Fun to see it photos as I haven't been back in 8 years. Thanks for posting.

-Stephanie Froelich
Austin, Texas

Jane said...

Thanks Stephanie, lovely to hear from you. Glad you liked the photos. It's fascinating to hear about your grandfather!

Hels said...

I would not have found Rothesay by myself, even though I was very interested in winter gardens. It must have been lovely in its heyday.

Thanks for the link
Art and Architecture, mainly

Jane said...

Many thanks Hels!