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Explore the Gardens and Grounds of Mount Stuart

Explore the Grounds

Mount Stuart’s 300 acre gardens and grounds are home to a spectacular collection of native and exotic flora, which give life to several gardens with distinct personalities. Important botanical specimens and champion Rhododendrons grow alongside plants endangered in their native habitats.

Our glorious woodlands, or Policies, stretch along the drive towards the Firth of Clyde. These were laid out by the 2nd Earl and are a significant representation of 18th Century landscaping ideals.  You can wander through woods full of broadleaf and conifer, native and non-native trees, which give way to the shore walk and the wonderful beach which reaches right up to the tree line. 

'Policies' is a peculiarly Scottish word which refers to the pleasure grounds around a mansion.

The Rock Garden and Calvary Pond are feats of Victorian engineering designed by Thomas H Mawson in the 1890s. Representing the Twelve Stations of the Cross, a reflection of the 3rd Marquess’ commitment to his Catholicism, Calavary pond is not without trademark Victorian whimsy and encourages discovery and adventure as you make your way up the winding paths. In contrast the Rock Garden and Wee Garden are places for reflection, contemplation and slow, quiet strolls.

These gardens are the result of the Bute Family’s passion for gardening and botany cultivated throughout the centuries. Beginning with the 2nd Earl who laid out the gardens in the 18th Century, to his son who was instrumental in setting up Kew Gardens, the creative contribution reached its peak with the 3rd Marquess. There is a wealth of history in our gardens which was significantly enriched by the Dowager Marchioness, Jennifer, who collected many cuttings throughout the 1990s that still grow in the gardens today. As these plants continue to grow and mature, and the gardens team works hard on ‘proving works’, the future of our gardens is endless.