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A House of Innovation
The spirit of nineteenth-century invention is embodied in Mount Stuart – a feat of Victorian engineering, this neo-gothic mansion was one of the most technologically advanced houses of its age. Ironic, when you consider the medieval inspiration of the Gothic Revival.
Truly a house of firsts, we believe Mount Stuart was the first home in the world to have a heated indoor swimming pool, and the first in Scotland to be purpose built with electric light, central heating, a telephone system and a Victorian passenger lift. Most of which are, quite remarkably, still in use today.
The central heating system was in fact designed by extraordinary Victorian engineer Wilson Phipson, who had achieved fame by heating prominent buildings such as London's Royal Albert Hall. However the sheer magnitude of materials required for this audacious build - granite, sandstone, marble and tiling for the swimming pool, would necessitate a horse-drawn railway from Kerrycroy village to the fledgling house - a physical reminder of the practical scope of the project.
Mount Stuart is testament to generations of Stuart passion and flamboyance. Explore this wondrous gothic structure and its labyrinth of gardens and you cannot fail to be impressed.
The house itself is arguably the finest piece of domestic architecture to emerge from Britain's Gothic Revival in the 19th Century. This lavish palace boasts a majestic marble hall, an awe-inspiring white marble chapel, sumptuous accommodation and unspeakably rich reception rooms.
Soaring to a height of 80 feet the Marble Hall is constructed from rare Italian and Sicilian marble and alabaster. White Carrara marble lines the walls of the spectacular white Marble Chapel. Mount Stuart is said to contain more marble than any other building in the British Isles.
Themes for astrology and astronomy grace the stunning vaulted ceiling of the marble hall. Look up and you will see 'the stars in their courses' mapped above you, as well as remarkable stained glass windows depicting the signs of the zodiac.
The 3rd Earl of Bute (d.1792) commissioned the great Robert Adam to design houses for him in England, and the 3rd Marquess of Bute (d.1900) was arguably the greatest individual architectural patron Britain has ever known.
Like its creator, the 3rd Marquess of Bute, this sandstone palace is profoundly inspired by history, astrology, art and mythology.