Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see ‘About Listed Buildings’ below for more information.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
Argyll And Bute
Planning Authority
Argyll And Bute
North Bute
NS 6354 67577
206354, 667577


16th century; alterations later 19th century. 5-stage, rectangular-plan tower with crowstep-gabled caphouse set behind battlemented parapet. Whitewashed harl; polished surrounds to 1st floor openings; corbelled parapet; surmounting coping. Circa 1900 single storey, L- and rectangular-plan Baronial-style lodges enclosing courtyard to W. Ribbon-pointed random rubble sandstone; polished dressings. Rubble quoins; long and short rubble surrounds to openings (some slightly droved yellow sandstone ashlar); moulded eaves; crowstepped gables.

CASTLE, NW (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: iron-studded, boarded timber door set in round-arched, rubble-dressed surround off-set to left of centre. Irregularly-disposed small openings in remaining floors above. SW (SIDE) ELEVATION: single windows at 1st floor in bays to outer left and right; small single window centred above; small single windows in both bays at 4th stage. SE (REAR) ELEVATION: single gunloop at ground off-set to right of centre; single window centred at 3rd stage. NE (SIDE) ELEVATION: single window at 1st floor in bay to outer left; small single window off-set to left of centre above; small single windows in both bays at 4th stage.

15-pane timber sash and case glazing to 1st floor hall; small-paned timber casement glazing to remaining openings. Waterspouts to battlemented parapet; graded grey slate roof to caphouse; crowstepped skews; apex stack to SE; circular cans.

INTERIOR: well set in ground floor; low timber-beamed ceiling; random rubble stair to upper floors. Pointed-arched vaulted stone hall at 1st floor; fireplace to E; segmental-arched window openings; deep reveals; boarded timber floor. Upper reception room comprising flat, timber-beamed ceiling; concrete floor; deep reveals to openings; blocked fireplace.

LODGES: circa 1900. Boarded timber doors; roll-moulded surrounds; regularly-disposed single windows (some boarded timber shutters); crowstepped gableheads breaking eaves. Full-width, glazed lean-to addition to N range (adapted for private accommodation). Predominantly 12-pane timber sash and case glazing. Graded grey slate roofs; crowstepped skews; replacement rainwater goods. Coped ridge and apex stacks; single circular cans. INTERIORS: not seen 1996.

Statement of Special Interest

Built in the style of the 14th century, it is thought that the keep actually dates from the 16th century (MacGibbon and Ross). Formerly the ancient seat of the Bannatynes, a well-respected and powerful family who received a charter from King Robert the Bruce for their services at Bannockburn. Improvements to the tower were undertaken by the last in the line of Bannatynes - Sir William MacLeod, in the early 19th century. Besides being responsible for the walled garden, MacLeod also saw to the erection of a 2-storey, plain classical style house adjoining the keep (see photograph in Millar's CASTLES AND MANSIONS OF RENFREWSHIRE AND BUTESHIRE). This was later demolished and replaced by the group of cottages which remain today - the aim being to create a hunting lodge to serve the north of the island. From the Bannatynes, the estate passed to the Hamilton family and from here to Duncan Hoyle, a native of North Bute and convenor of the county. Finally, in 1863, Kames was encompassed within the Bute estate. MacGibbon and Ross record the keep as measuring approximately 36 feet by 25 feet, with walls more than 5 feet thick. Alterations to the upper section are thought to date from the later 19th century (possibly David Bryce). An ogee-roofed turret surmounting the NE corner is now missing (see illustration MacGibbon and Ross). Lodges adapted for use as holiday accommodation. The keep remains empty. Forms part of the Kames estate with the nearby walled garden and adjoining cottage, the gardener's cottage, gatelodge, gatepiers and gates (see separate list entries).



J Wilson WILSON'S GUIDE TO ROTHESAY AND THE ISLE OF BUTE (1848); keep appears on Ordnance Survey map, 1863; A H Millar THE CASTLES AND MANSIONS OF RENFREWSHIRE AND BUTESHIRE (1889); A Brown PORT BANNATYNE PAST AND PRESENT (1922); Revd. A S Borrowman THE PARISH OF NORTH BUTE (1962); MacGibbon and Ross THE CASTELLATED AND DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE (reprinted 1971) Vol III p192; J MacCallum "WISH YOU WERE HERE": A PICTURE POSTCARD VIEW OF EDWARDIAN BUTE p55; NMRS photographic records BU/186, BU/187, BU/188, BU/189.

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing and if a number or name is missing from a listing address it may still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing can also cover structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority advises on the need for listed building consent and they also decide what a listing covers. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at


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Printed: 20/04/2019 05:34