Archive - Libraries - Fine & Decorative Art

A window to the past, a door to the future.

The Bute Collection at Mount Stuart is one of the UK's foremost private historic collections, dating from the 12th century to the present day. It consists of spectacular fine and decorative art, an internationally significant archive, and extensive historic libraries, collected by successive generations of the Crichton Stuart family.


Dating from 1158 to the present day, the archive preserves the extraordinary historic records at Mount Stuart. These consist of family papers and estate correspondence, as well as intricate designs, surveys, plans, inventories, photographs, glass-plate negatives and cine-film too. Half a million records are contained within 3,500 boxes in the internationally significant archive which documents the history of Mount Stuart and the Crichton Stuart family.


The Crichton Stuart family tradition of collecting books can be traced back to the 2nd Earl of Bute, who brought books for his new library at the first Mount Stuart House from the Mansion House, Rothesay, in 1719. Over 27,000 volumes line the shelves of the historic libraries at Mount Stuart: from precious early printed books and 18th century Gaelic pamphlets, to hand-coloured atlases and unique embroidered bookbindings.

Fine & Decorative Art

The Bute Collection at Mount Stuart contains one of the UK's foremost private collections of fine and decorative art. Over 6,000 examples of spectacular art and objects form part of the Bute Collection, including paintings, furniture, sculpture, tapestry, textiles, silver, metalwork, and more. These are carefully curated within our nineteenth-century interiors, which together, provide the foundation for the character and atmosphere of Mount Stuart.

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The Bute Collection > Archive, Libraries, Fine & Decorative Art