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Bute, Rothesay, St Mary's Church

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Record Detail

  • Organisation
    RCAHMS
  • Alternative name(s)
    N/A
  • Canmore ID
    40373
  • Site type
    CEMETERY, CHAPEL (16TH CENTURY), CHURCH (16TH CENTURY), CROSS SLAB (MEDIEVAL)
  • Parish
    ROTHESAY
  • Council
    BUTESHIRE
  • NGR
    NS 08620 63703
  • Latitude, longitude
    55.828509N, 5.057071W
  • Archeological notes
    NS06SE 1 08620 63703. NS 0862 6367) St Mary's Church (NR) (In Ruins) OS 6" map (1924) The parish church of Rothesay stands on the site of the Cathedral of the Isles. The church has a double dedication, to St Brioc, a 6th century Saint, and to the Virgin Mary. The original pre-Reformation church was removed in 1692, and on its site another erected, which was also taken down in 1796 to give place to the present structure. The 13th chapel adjoining the church, called St Mary's Kilmary, or Lady Kirk, is supposed to be the chancel or choir, of the original edifice and believed by MacGibbon and Ross to have been part of the 16th century Abbey Church of St Mary. It measures 27ft 7in long, 17ft 8in broad, and about 9ft high, and the lower portions of the walls are of an older structure. J K Hewison says that the 13th century architectural style of the chapel is easily seen, while MacGibbon and Ross state that structure and monuments are undoubtedly late - probably 16th century. The choir of the Abbey Church of St Mary stands beside the modern church - its structure is of 16th century date. J K Hewison 1889; D MacGibbon and T Ross 1897 The "St Mary's Abbey" referred to by MacGibbon and Ross was not a monastic building, but evidently the mediaeval parish church. D E Easson 1957 A sculptured stone (c.8th c AD) was found in 1816 when clearing out St Brieuc's chapel and is now preserved at Rothesay Castle. J Stuart 1867 St Mary's Chapel. This chapel was originally the east end or chancel of the parish Church of Rothesay. It is probably 16th century work. Information from MoW plaque. NS 08626370. This chapel is as described above. In the Bute Museum is the cross slab found in St Brieuc's Chapel in 1816, it has no accession number. Visited by OS (WDJ) 14 January 1964 NS 0862 6367 Three trenches were excavated at St Mary's Chapel, a part-demolished 14th-century building adjacent to Rothesay High Kirk. Two thresholds were uncovered relating to an original ground surface within the chapel. The material overlying the floor of the original chapel has been demonstrated to be later infilling, and could be removed without serious loss to the archaeology of the site. A fuller report has been deposited with the NMRS. Sponsor: Historic Scotland G Ewart and D Stewart 1997 NS 0862 6367 A watching brief was carried out in May 1998 in and around St Mary's Chapel, while a shallow clearance excavation was undertaken. The purpose of the work was to remove late levelling from within the chapel while at the same time deturfing an area outside the chapel to permit the laying of a paved footpath linking the N entrance of the chapel to an existing roadway within the graveyard. No original floor level survived, the first authentic layer of any antiquity to be seen in the chapel being the main burial material, which had no visible grave cuts but did contain skeletal debris. Removal of all layers above the main grave fill reduced the existing levels within the chapel to the depth of the buried but intact threshold masonry in the N doorway. Removal of the late infill layers proved that few of the gravestones to be found in the chapel were early in situ graves. The excavations outside the chapel were restricted to the removal of two stretches of turf in order to put in place a paved footpath. Nineteenth-century levelling soil and, in deeper areas, the 18th-century church construction debris were exposed. Sponsor: Historic Scotland D Stewart 1998 The medieval parish church of Rothesay stood on a hillside about 1.2km S of Rothesay Bay, and its roofless late medieval chancel is situated S of the present church. Sources from the 14th century onwards record that its dedication was to the Virgin Mary, but local tradition also recorded an association with St Brioc or Brieuc. I Fisher 2001, 80.
  • Architectural notes
    EXTERNAL REFERENCE: Rothesay, St Mary's. Buteshire, Chapel of St Mary - tombs in the Choir. PLANS - Glasgow Architectural Association - Sketch Book - 1887 Vol. ii.

Related material information

SCANNED IMAGES

  • 801731 (1988)
    Bute, Rothesay Churchyard. 'James Duncan'. Dated 1874. Digital image of B 4070/18
  • 1206552 (1896)
    Extract from the 2nd edition of the OS 25 inch map.
  • 40373 ()
    Exterior view of St Mary's Chapel, Rothesay, Bute. Scan of E V Proudfoot slide 5068.

MANUSCRIPTS

  • 40373 ()
    Folder of photographs and research notes on Argyllshire and Bute gravestones.

PHOTOGRAPHS

  • 40373 ()
    Detail of memorial to Ferrier, 1906, Rothesay St Mary's Churchyard.
  • 40373 ()
    View of Mc Alistair stone, Rothesay St Mary's Churchyard.
  • 40373 (1970)
    View of monument to Gardiner 1931, Rothesay St Mary's Churchyard.
  • 40373 ()
    View of medieval tomb with partially worn effigy and carvings, Rothesay St Mary's Churchyard.
  • 40373 ()
    View of carved headstone, Rothesay St Mary's Churchyard.
  • 40373 (1988)
    Bute, Rothesay Churchyard. Detail of tablestone for James Brown. Dated 1845. Lead Lettering.
  • 40373 (1988)
    Bute, Rothesay Churchyard. 'James Duncan'. Dated 1874.
  • 40373 (1988)
    Bute, Rothesay Churchyard. 'The McNilles of Killmore'. n/d.
  • 40373 (1988)
    Bute, Rothesay Churchyard. 'The McAlistair Stone'.
  • 40373 (1988)
    Bute, Rothesay Churchyard. 'The McAlistair Stone'.
  • 40373 ()
    Rothesay, St Mary's Abbey. Effigy.
  • 40373 ()
    Rothesay, St Mary's Church. Effigy.
  • 40373 ()
    Rothesay, St Mary's Church. View of piscina and aumbry.
  • 40373 ()
    Rothesay, St Mary's Church. General view of tomb. Effigy.
  • 40373 ()
    Rothesay, St Mary's Church. Effigy.
  • 40373 (1867)
    Cross-slab at Rothesay. From J Stuart, The Sculptured Stones of Scotland, vol. ii, 1867, plate lxxii.
  • 40373 (1987)
    Early christian cross-shaft, (TA6), obverse, (Flash).
  • 40373 (1987)
    Early christian cross-shaft, (TA6), obverse, (Daylight).
  • 40373 (1987)
    View of effigy of knight in recess (TA2).
  • 40373 (1860)
    General view from South-East.
  • 40373 ()
    View of effigy in South wall.
  • 40373 (16/3/1976)
    Rothesay, St Mary's Church. View of Bute Mausoleum from South-East.
  • 40373 (16/3/1976)
    Rothesay, St Mary's Church. View of Bute Mausoleum from South-East.
  • 40373 (16/3/1976)
    Rothesay, St Mary's Church. View from South-West.
  • 40373 (16/3/1976)
    Rothesay, St Mary's Church. View from West.
  • 40373 (1987)
    Bute, Rothesay, Old Parish Church, St Mary's Churchyard. Lady's effigy in recess with weepers. (flash). (TA3)
  • 40373 (1987)
    Bute, Rothesay, Old Parish Church, St Mary's Churchyard. Lady's effigy in recess with weepers. (daylight). (TA3)
  • 40373 (16/3/1976)
    Rothesay, St Mary's Church. General view of tomb in North Wall.
  • 40373 (16/3/1976)
    Rothesay, St Mary's Church. General view of tomb in South Wall.
  • 40373 (16/3/1976)
    Rothesay, St Mary's Church. General view from North-East.
  • 40373 (1987)
    Bute, Rothesay, Old Parish Church, St Mary's Churchyard. Medieval child's graveslab. (TA4)
  • 40373 (1987)
    Bute, Rothesay, Old Parish Church, St Mary's Churchyard. Effigy. (TA1)
  • 40373 (1987)
    Bute, Rothesay, St Mary's Churchyard. Headstone with gardener's tools.
  • 40373 (16/3/1976)
    Rothesay, St Mary's Church. Cross-shaft South of church. East face.
  • 40373 (16/3/1976)
    Rothesay, St Mary's Church. Cross-shaft South of church. Oblique view to show mortice and tenon.
  • 40373 (16/3/1976)
    Rothesay, St Mary's Church. Cross-shaft South of church. West facade.
  • 40373 (1961)
  • 40373 (1961)
  • 40373 (1961)
  • 40373 (1961)
  • 40373 (9/1962)
    View from East.
  • 40373 (9/1962)
    General view from South.

  • 40373 (1880)
    PHOTOGRAPH ALBUM NO 146: THE ANNAN ALBUM Dark cloth-covered album with marbled end-papers (pieced) and 36 pages. Two similar volumes are in the Mitchell Library, Glasgow - this one has '701-928' impressed in gold on the front cover. Purchased from William Hardie. 19th century photographs presumed to be by Thomas Annan, the subjects mainly of architectural interest are pasted in six to a page in alphabetical order until p36; then another lot, mainly of Glasgow buildings are added on verso going back to p26v - all numbered in pencil from 701 to 986.

PRINT ROOM

  • 40373 (1880)
    Page 31/3 Rothesay, detail view of tomb of Walter, Steward of Scotland (d.1326). Titled 'Tomb of Walter, Steward of Scotland, who died in 1326) in St Mary's Chapel, Rothesay.' PHOTOGRAPH ALBUM No.146: The Annan Album.
  • 40373 (1880)
    Page 31/2 Detail view of the 'tomb of a lady', Rothesay. Titled 'Tomb of a lady in St Mary's Chapel, Rothesay.' PHOTOGRAPH ALBUM No.146: THE THOMAS ANNAN ALBUM'
  • 40373 (1864)
    Frontispiece Photograph of a tomb in St Mary's Chapel. Insc.:'Tomb, St Mary's Chapel, Rothesay.'

DIGITAL IMAGES

  • 1222262 (1880)
    Page 31/3 Rothesay, detail view of tomb of Walter, Steward of Scotland (d.1326). Titled 'Tomb of Walter, Steward of Scotland, who died in 1326) in St Mary's Chapel, Rothesay.' PHOTOGRAPH ALBUM No.146: The Annan Album.
  • 1222260 (1880)
    Page 31/2 Detail view of the 'tomb of a lady', Rothesay. Titled 'Tomb of a lady in St Mary's Chapel, Rothesay.' PHOTOGRAPH ALBUM No.146: THE THOMAS ANNAN ALBUM'
  • 1231911 (8/2010)
    Map - Distribution of Early Historic and Medieval sites and artefacts.
  • 1025890 (8/5/2006)
    General view from south east with High Church behind
  • 1025889 (8/5/2006)
    View from south east with High Church behind

DIGITAL NON-IMAGE FILE

  • 40373 (8/2010)
    Map - Distribution of Early Historic and Medieval sites and artefacts.

1st edition 6-inch maps

TitleDateOther parishes/counties
 Ordnance Survey six-inch to the mile, Argyllshire, Sheet CCIV1863