Mount Stuart House and Gardens
Argyll, PA20 9LR
A uniquely Victorian creation, Mount Stuart houses the world's first heated indoor pool within its breathtaking neo-Gothic exterior.
Mount Stuart is a big house on a small island, a grand 19th-century mansion rising between the hills of the diminutive Isle of Bute. As the first house in Scotland to boast electric lighting, central heating, telephones or a passenger lift – most of which remain in operation – Mount Stuart is as technically impressive as it is visually arresting.
Supported by marble pillars and lit by stained-glass windows, the vaulted ceiling of Mount Stuart’s gallery is home to the Bute Collection, one of the foremost private collections of artwork and artefacts in the UK, notable for its British portraiture from the 18th and 19th centuries, Italian masterpieces from the 16th century, and Dutch and Flemish Old Masters. Highlights include an esoteric collection of portraits by the artist HW Lonsdale. Numbering 128 in all, the subjects span Greek, Roman and Norse mythology, from Pandora to Brunhilde.