"ROTHESAY, town and parish in Isle of Bute. ... The parish contains also Ascog village; it formerly included what is now North Bute parish, containing Port Banntyne or Kaimesburgh; and it may be most conveniently described as still including that parish. Its length, thus understood, is nearly 10 miles; its greatest breadth, exclusive of Inchmarnock, 5 miles; its area 20,847 acres, of which 14,764 are in North Bute. Real property of landward part in 1880-81, £14,646, of which £12,196 were in North Bute. Pop. 8538, of which 1192 were in North Bute. The boundary all round, except on the south, is formed by Kyles of Bute and Firth of Clyde. The coast consists mostly of gravelly slopes and shelving rocks, and is indented by two bays on the east and two on the west. Two fine dingles cross the interior from the eastern bays to the western ones; and rising-grounds and hills, with pleasing diversity of surface fill nearly all the rest of the interior. Chief residences are handsome villas at and near Ascog; and chief antiquities are a Caledonian stone circle, numerous standing-stones, tumuli, and hill-forts, and Kaimes and Kilmorie castles. Established and Free churches are in North Bute. There are 12 schools for 1930 scholars; 2 of them for 516 new, and 2 for 263 are outside of Rothesay burgh."

[From The Gazetteer of Scotland, by Rev. John Wilson, 1882.]


Part of the northern end of the former parish of Rothesay became the new parish of North Bute in 1835.



Presbyterian / Unitarian
Rothesay, Church of Scotland

Church Records

The parish church records are held in the General Register Office for Scotland in Edinburgh, and copies on microfilm may be consulted in local libraries and in LDS Family History Centres around the world.

Records in the old parish registers (OPRs) for Rothesay parish span the following years:

Births or Baptisms ~ 1691 - 1854
Marriages or Banns ~ 1691 - 1854
Deaths or Burials ~ no records


Description & Travel

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Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, Samuel Lewis - 1851

PORT-BANNATYNE, a village, formerly in the parish of Rothesay, but now in the new parish of North-Bute, county of Bute, 2 miles (N. E.) from the town of Rothesay; containing 326 inhabitants. This village is situated at the head of Kames bay in the Firth of Clyde, and takes its name from the family of Bannatyne, for many years proprietors of Kames Castle, to the remains of which, comprising a lofty tower, a mansion was added by the late Lord Bannatyne. The village, which consists of neatly-built houses scattered along the circular shore of the bay, is much resorted to by visiters for seabathing during the season, and contains every requisite accommodation for that purpose. Its inhabitants are chiefly engaged in the herring-fishery, which is carried on to a great extent in the Kyles of Bute, and in which twenty-five boats are employed, with crews of five men each: they are also engaged in the white-fishery off the coast. There is a commodious haven, and a good quay has been constructed. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship containing about 500 sittings, with a school attached. About half a mile from the village is the seat of Kames Castle; and within a mile stands the church of the parish of North Bute.

ROTHESAY, a parish and sea-port and burgh (royal), the county town, in the county of Bute, S9 miles (W. by S.) from Edinburgh; containing, with the new civil and ecclesiastical parish of North Bute, 7147 inhabitants, of whom 5789 are in the burgh. This place, anciently called Cill-a-Bruic, or "the church of St. Brock", derived its present name of Rothesay, signifying in the Gaelic language "the king's seat", from a castle erected here about the year 1092, by Magnus, King of Norway, to secure the conquest he had recently made of the Western Isles. The castle, around which a small town arose, belonged to the family of Mac Roderick in the reign of Alexander III., and was then burnt by the Norwegians under Haco, who made himself master of it, after a loss of 300 men on the part of the garrison: it did not, however, remain long in his possession, being retaken upon the defeat of his forces by Alexander III. at the battle of Largs in 1263. During the reign of John Baliol it was seized by the English, who in 1311 surrendered it to Robert the Bruce. The castle was subsequently taken by Edward Baliol, who fortified it, and kept possession of it till its capture by Robert II., who made Rothesay occasionally his residence during the years 1376 and 1381. Robert III. in 1398 assembled a council at Scone, and created his son David (then Earl of Carrick) Duke of Rothesay. In 1401 he conferred upon the town all the privileges of a royal burgh. In the reign of James III. the dukedom of Rothesay, which was the first ducal dignity in Scotland, was made hereditary in the heir apparent to the throne, who at his birth, or immediately on his father's accession, becomes Prince and Steward of Scotland, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Lord of the Isles, and Baron Renfrew.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NS085639 (Lat/Lon: 55.829926, -5.058738), Rothesay which are provided by: