Bute Museum

Bute Museum Bute Museum is an independently run museum where visitors can explore the Natural and Historical Heritage of the Isle of Bute.
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Operating as usual

This photograph taken in the 1961 shows the extent of the Kyles of Bute Hydro including the large kitchen gardens.  The ...
27/02/2021

This photograph taken in the 1961 shows the extent of the Kyles of Bute Hydro including the large kitchen gardens. The Hydro played an important role during World War II when, following naval tradition that all shore establishments are treated as ships, the Hydro was renamed HMS Varbel. This became the training base for the 12th Submarine Flotilla, consisting of human torpedoes and midget submarines. The name Varbel came from the combination of the names of the men who designed the prototype midget submarine, Commander Varley and Commander Bell. Much of the training was undertaken in the deep waters of Loch Striven which prepared the submariners, who were all volunteers, to undertake their most audacious mission, the raid on the German battleship Tirpitz in Alten Fjord. (For more detailed information see Bute’s War by Jess Sandeman). Part of HMS Varbel can still be seen on the island as the bell that hung in the hallway can be seen and rung in Bute Museum. This bell has its own story as it was salvaged from the wreck of the SS Politician when she was broken up at Port Bannatyne. The SS Politician and her cargo of whisky was the inspiration for Compton MacKenzie’s book Whiskey Galore though SS Politician was renamed SS Cabinet Minister.

Our new website has a 'Collections' section which currently has over 100 photos and 75 artefacts from the Museum archive...
17/02/2021

Our new website has a 'Collections' section which currently has over 100 photos and 75 artefacts from the Museum archives and galleries. More items are being added every week. You will be able to browse a significant part of the collection online until you are able to visit us and see them for real.

We are lucky enough to have two Military Medals, won for outstanding acts of bravery in WWI. One was awarded to Alexande...
07/02/2021

We are lucky enough to have two Military Medals, won for outstanding acts of bravery in WWI. One was awarded to Alexander McKinnon (well known as a sergeant in the police force and father of a trio of Rothesay schoolteachers).
The other, pictured here, was awarded to Wheeler-Sergeant J Findlay. His citation reads ‘For bravery at Roclincourt on the night of the 1st/2nd April 1917, when taking up ammunition to Trench Mortar Batteries, his convoy came under heavy artillery and machine gun fire and sustained casualties to men and mules. When he got his waggons away, he missed a driver, whom he went back for and carried to safety, still under fire’.

Two well-loved toys from our Old Toys case. Both Peter Rabbit and the horse belonged to Dorothy Marshall. Dorothy was bo...
05/02/2021

Two well-loved toys from our Old Toys case. Both Peter Rabbit and the horse belonged to Dorothy Marshall. Dorothy was born in 1900 so the toys are over 100 years old now. Many local people will remember Dorothy from the Junior Naturalists, when they were children.

The new Bute Museum website goes live next week. We’ve been adding artefacts and photos from our extensive collection so...
04/02/2021

The new Bute Museum website goes live next week. We’ve been adding artefacts and photos from our extensive collection so you’ll be able to discover loads of interesting things about Bute’s history without having to visit the museum. Of course that’s the norm at the moment but let’s also look forward to the end of restrictions and a return to travelling ( to Bute especially!!)

One of a collection of postcards sent from the Front during the First World War, from a soldier to his family in Bute. H...
17/12/2020

One of a collection of postcards sent from the Front during the First World War, from a soldier to his family in Bute. Happily, William McMillan eventually made it back home to Mansefield Place, Rothesay.

A photo from the Archives to stir memories while the Museum is closed. The Revellers with many weel-kent faces
09/12/2020

A photo from the Archives to stir memories while the Museum is closed. The Revellers with many weel-kent faces

The Museum is now closed for two months. The Volunteers were straight in, emptying and moving bookcases and cases to all...
27/11/2020

The Museum is now closed for two months. The Volunteers were straight in, emptying and moving bookcases and cases to allow for plastering and redecoration. It will look beautiful in February when we reopen.

Tomorrow (26th November) is our last day of opening until February. However, if you are interested in the geology, archa...
25/11/2020

Tomorrow (26th November) is our last day of opening until February. However, if you are interested in the geology, archaeology, history and natural history of Bute, you can still buy our range of books from Print Point

This is your last chance to visit the Museum before we close for two months. We are open Wednesday and Thursday (25th an...
24/11/2020

This is your last chance to visit the Museum before we close for two months. We are open Wednesday and Thursday (25th and 26th November) 1.30 - 3.30. If you didn't know that Bute had a close connection with Birdie Bowers then come in and see his memorial stone and a few other items we have from Scott's famous Antarctic expedition
The Museum shop has local books, facemasks and nice little stocking-filler gifts.

During WWII, Bute was the home to HMS Varbel, the shore base for the 12th submarine flotilla. In our collection we have ...
21/11/2020

During WWII, Bute was the home to HMS Varbel, the shore base for the 12th submarine flotilla. In our collection we have this crest from X-craft XE12 'Excitable'.
The Museum will shortly be closing for our usual winter break. We may be closed but the volunteers will be hard at work with repairs and refurbishment. We are open today (Sat. 21st Nov), Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (24th - 26th Nov) 1.30 -3.30.

Now that we are approaching December, the Museum is only open for 2 more weeks this year. If you don't want to see round...
18/11/2020

Now that we are approaching December, the Museum is only open for 2 more weeks this year. If you don't want to see round the Museum why not come in and have a look at the shop? We have a whole range of inexpensive gifts including jewellery, local books, facemasks (including Christmas ones) and small items for children. Our Lucky Bags are great value at £2 - each contains a mystery selection of 5 small items (some of which are pictured). These would make ideal Christmas stocking fillers. We are open this week Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday 1.30 - 3.30. Eugene, our Custodian, says he's feeling lonely now that the visitors have gone and would love to chat while you browse the shop!

With Remembrance Day this month, it is an appropriate time to feature some of the wartime memorabilia we have in our col...
01/11/2020

With Remembrance Day this month, it is an appropriate time to feature some of the wartime memorabilia we have in our collection. We are lucky enough to have two Military Medals, won for outstanding acts of bravery in WWI. One was awarded to Alexander McKinnon (well known as a sergeant in the police force and father of a trio of Rothesay schoolteachers).
The other, pictured here, was awarded to Sergeant-Wheeler J Findlay. His citation reads ‘For bravery at Roclincourt on the night of the 1st/2nd April 1917, when taking up ammunition to Trench Mortar Batteries, his convoy came under heavy artillery and machine gun fire and sustained casualties to men and mules. When he got his waggons away, he missed a driver, whom he went back for and carried to safety, still under fire’.
The Museum is open this month on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday 1.30-3.30

Our new notice board looking very smart. Thank you David.
23/10/2020

Our new notice board looking very smart. Thank you David.

New signage for Bute Museum. We have updated the whole board giving it a fresh new look and added the new winter opening hours.

Pop along and visit during the winter months they have lots of interesting things to see and it will keep the children entertained for a while.

#teambutesigns
#signspecialistargyllandbute
#SupportLocal
#localteamwork
Metamark

As it is the October holidays, here is one for the children. Two well-loved toys from our Old Toys case. Both Peter Rabb...
12/10/2020

As it is the October holidays, here is one for the children. Two well-loved toys from our Old Toys case. Both Peter Rabbit and the horse belonged to Dorothy Marshall. Dorothy was born in 1900 so the toys are over 100 years old now. Many local people will remember Dorothy from the Junior Naturalists, when they were children.
Our winter opening hours are 1.30-3.30 Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. We have the alien hunt and quiz for children and the Old Toy case for a bit of nostalgia!

Bute Museum has an extensive collection of steamer models and items from the days when you could sit back and enjoy a me...
07/10/2020

Bute Museum has an extensive collection of steamer models and items from the days when you could sit back and enjoy a meal on your journey to Bute. This coffee cup and saucer was used on the L.N.E.R. steamers which included the Lucy Ashton, Talisman, Jeanie Deans and Waverley.
The Museum's winter opening hours are 1.30 - 3.30 on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday

We are now onto our Winter Opening. The Museum will be open 1.30 - 3.30 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays...
30/09/2020

We are now onto our Winter Opening. The Museum will be open 1.30 - 3.30 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. That still gives you plenty of time to see all the wonderful old photos and object we have on display. We have a quiz and Alien Hunt to amuse the kids in the October Break. Our Lucky Bags at £2 each have been a great success. Thanks to a massive team effort we have had over 1000 visitors since we reopened in July.

The latest addition to the Holiday Isle case is this fabulous model of the Gay Queen made by Allan Sheerin. This much lo...
06/09/2020

The latest addition to the Holiday Isle case is this fabulous model of the Gay Queen made by Allan Sheerin. This much loved craft was built in 1938. She was requisitioned by the Royal Navy in WW2 then returned to Rothesay where she took countless holidaymakers on cruises around Bute and Loch Striven. She left Rothesay in 1990 but she is still to the fore as the 'Dorset Queen', cruising from Poole Quay

Bute Museum has many items of National importance in the collection but sometimes it is the little things that stir memo...
17/08/2020

Bute Museum has many items of National importance in the collection but sometimes it is the little things that stir memories - like this ice cream tub. After glorious ice cream weather, it is turning a bit damp so why not pop into the museum? We are open Tuesday - Saturday 10.30 to 3.30 and, unlike the big museums opening again today, booking is not required.

If you are interested in the more recent history of Bute, you will really enjoy our display of old photographs from the ...
11/08/2020

If you are interested in the more recent history of Bute, you will really enjoy our display of old photographs from the Museum Archives. The 'corridor of photos' creates a one-way system between the galleries and gives you time to study them in detail. The museum is open five days a week (Tues - Sat) 10.30 - 3.30.

When the weather is wet (what? we get rain on Bute?) the Museum is a perfect place to spend an hour wandering through Bu...
03/08/2020

When the weather is wet (what? we get rain on Bute?) the Museum is a perfect place to spend an hour wandering through Bute's history and natural history. Our 'corridor of photos' has been very popular and so has trying to spot those pesky aliens. We are open from Tuesday to Saturday 10.30 - 3.30

We have been doing everything possible to make the Museum a safe place to visit. Many thanks to Museums and Galleries Sc...
28/07/2020

We have been doing everything possible to make the Museum a safe place to visit. Many thanks to Museums and Galleries Scotland @MuseumsGalScot who awarded the Museum a grant to purchase PPE. The photo shows our Custodian Eugene displaying some of the items purchased.
The Museum is open 10.30 - 3.30 Tuesday - Saturday

Trust a Viking not to do the right thing! The monk is wearing his face covering and being socially responsible.Did you k...
24/07/2020

Trust a Viking not to do the right thing! The monk is wearing his face covering and being socially responsible.
Did you know that the nationally-important 'Hostage Stone' can be seen in Bute Museum? It is one of a collection of inscribed slates from Inchmarnock, co-owned by the museum and National Museums Scotland. The actual Hostage Stone is less clear than this enhanced photo so ask the Custodian to borrow the torch to view it.
Thank you to Linda Sheridan for her modern twist on this photo (Courtesy of NMS)
There is a superb cartoon version of the Hostage Stone if you follow this link

https://www.nms.ac.uk/collections-research/our-research/featured-projects/early-medieval-scotland/bringing-the-past-to-life/hostage-stone/

The Museum is full of interesting objects from Rothesay's past like this piece of Jacquard material woven in a Rothesay ...
17/07/2020

The Museum is full of interesting objects from Rothesay's past like this piece of Jacquard material woven in a Rothesay cotton mill and the box used by the Cotton Mill Society. However, please don't visit us on a Sunday or Monday because we are not open then. Current opening times are TUESDAY to SATURDAY 10.30 - 3.30

The Museum is now OPEN (Tuesday- Saturday 10.30-3.30) It was lovely to welcome our first visitors this morning. Thank yo...
15/07/2020

The Museum is now OPEN (Tuesday- Saturday 10.30-3.30) It was lovely to welcome our first visitors this morning. Thank you to 9 year-old Jason for pointing out the mistake in the quiz. That's it right now for the next visitors! John (8) and Alexander (3) made a great job of the Alien Hunt too.

We are all set to open tomorrow. There is a route around the Museum, just like in the supermarket. The Alien Hunt follow...
14/07/2020

We are all set to open tomorrow. There is a route around the Museum, just like in the supermarket. The Alien Hunt follows the route and so does a new children's quiz. Jean has been putting the finishing touches to our wild flower display. We have had to put away the bits and pieces we sell for children but have made up £2 'Lucky Bags' with all the favourites. We are open Tuesday - Saturday 10.30 until 3.30. Looking forward to seeing you!

A token from the very early days of cinema. Places showing silent movies were often called electric theatres. The Electr...
11/07/2020

A token from the very early days of cinema. Places showing silent movies were often called electric theatres. The Electric Theatre in Rothesay is advertised in 1912 as being in Bridge Street.
Looking forward to seeing familiar faces and visitors from further afield at the Museum from Wednesday onwards. We are open 5 days a week (Tues-Sat 10.30 - 3.30)

Less than a week to go until we are welcoming visitors back to the Museum. We are looking forward to seeing local people...
09/07/2020

Less than a week to go until we are welcoming visitors back to the Museum. We are looking forward to seeing local people as well as those from further afield. Visitors in days gone by returned from Bute with all manner of souvenirs including improbable items such as this 'ye lucky Rothesay boot'!

We are getting everything ready for our opening - a week today! We have a route laid out in the History Gallery and then...
08/07/2020

We are getting everything ready for our opening - a week today! We have a route laid out in the History Gallery and then through the Library/Meeting room to the Natural History Gallery. Jean has created a 'Corridor of Photos' through the Library which has a wonderful variety of old photos to view.

As well as artefacts and photos, the Museum also has some beautiful paintings. Here is one for all of you who had a Lock...
06/07/2020

As well as artefacts and photos, the Museum also has some beautiful paintings. Here is one for all of you who had a Lockdown walk up to St Blane's. This was painted around 1830 by Horatio McCulloch. It is on display with artefacts from chapel sites in our Early Christian case.
The good news is that you will soon be able to come and see all these things for yourselves as we hope to open again a week on Wednesday (July 15th). More information will be posted later

A photo from our Archives that won't appear in Jean's wonderful weekly contribution to the local newspaper (it is the wr...
02/07/2020

A photo from our Archives that won't appear in Jean's wonderful weekly contribution to the local newspaper (it is the wrong shape). The photo shows the Museum and a building where the Mercat Cross now stands.

The Museum has a very good collection of old stoneware containers. They tell you that there were a lot of dealers in win...
26/06/2020

The Museum has a very good collection of old stoneware containers. They tell you that there were a lot of dealers in wines and spirits in Rothesay! This one has come home to the Vennel (now Stuart Street) where you will find the Museum

From our 'Holiday Isle' case, this mounted penny dates from 1917 and was the first toll taken at the newly-installed pie...
19/06/2020

From our 'Holiday Isle' case, this mounted penny dates from 1917 and was the first toll taken at the newly-installed pier turnstile. The first person to hand over a penny for the privilege of gaining access to Rothesay Pier was James McMillan, Provost

History Curator's choice from Bute Museum Archives...... I just love the song.  The Palace Cinema's children's club from...
15/06/2020

History Curator's choice from Bute Museum Archives...... I just love the song. The Palace Cinema's children's club from the days when you had a choice of three cinemas. For sixpence you could go along and sing about how much better the Palace was than the Ritz or the Regal. Uncle Don was the Big Dougie of his day.

Address

Stuart St
Rothesay
PA20 0EP

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Comments

Had a lovely & very informative visit to the museum today. A fabulous place with very knowledgeable staff. Really enjoyed it.
Is this of any interest? Found it near the beach in town. Looks like part of a tile maybe?
What a wonderful museum! Special thanks to lovely Anne who gave me and my son a private guided tour and introduced us to the Queen of the Inch. We'll always remember this weekend.
Greetings . I present to you my page dedicated to NARBO MARTIVS ( Roman Narbonne , south of the France ) , NARBONENSIS capital's and city among the top 20 according with the very famous Roman author AVSONIVS ( Ausone ) in ORDO VRBIVM NOBILIVM ( order of great noble cities ) : Narbo Martivs , première fille de Rome .
Thank you so much for the parcel of prizes you sent for my son Malachi after we visited last month and hunted for frogs. He's delighted to have so many reminders of a lovely day out.
Had another great visit today.! 😊