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- Category: A
- Date Added: 12/04/1978
- Local Authority: Argyll And Bute
- Planning Authority: Argyll And Bute
- Burgh: Rothesay
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NS 8755 64794
- Coordinates: 208755, 664794
Walter MacFarlane & Co. (Saracen Foundry, Glasgow) in collaboration with Alex Stephen (burgh surveyor), 1923-4; incorporating Victorian octagonal-plan bandstand (converted for use as cinema late 20th century). Circular-plan domed winter garden (25m diameter); square-plan towers flanking entrance; bowed loggia to S; squared N end (restaurant) with raised octagonal tower to former bandstand; flanking single storey piended pavilions. Panelled walls; vertical glazing to upper levels; regularly disposed engaged columns with decorative cast-iron brackets beneath cantilevered awning to outer ambulatory; architraved eaves; volute corner cartouches; tapering finials. Radial steel ribs supporting central dome; glazed inner ambulatory; flat roof above forming upper promenade enclosed by continuous decorative cast-iron handrail; regularly disposed cast-iron lamp standards; decorative Art Nouveau panels.
S (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: glazed entrance centred at ground recessed beneath bowed portico comprising cast-iron Doric columns flanking centre; volute capitals; surmounting lampstandards set in upper promenade. 2-storey pagoda-roofed pavilions to left and right of entrance; panelled walls at ground; diamond glazing at 1st floor beneath wide eaves; corner roof cartouches; surmounting finials; pagoda-roof surmounting glazed oculus centred above dome (spherical finial missing).
N (REAR) ELEVATION: bracketed eaves beneath octagonal-roofed, 2-storey tower at centre; decorative Art Nouveau glazing at 1st floor; projecting polygonal bow at ground to front (restaurant); surmounting cast-iron railings to promenade; piended square-plan pavilions at ground to outer left and right.
INTERIOR: boarded central dome comprising radiating steel girders (solid in section towards apex); moulded boss; girders curve towards ground with skeletal circular infils; glazed clerestory; boxed piers at ground; glazed ambulatory beyond. Decorative handrail encloses inner floor; polygonal part-glazed booth set on platform to SE; 'Pay Here' parapet with cast-iron detailing. Segmental-arched girder to N frames stage; cinema behind (entered from W); restaurant beyond. Access to upper promenade via balustraded stairs set in pavilions flanking entrance.
Predominantly vertical glazing; decorative fanlights; diamond-glazing to pagoda towers; part-stained decorative glazing to former bandstand. Red-felt roofing to dome; red-felt fish-scale tiled towers; cast-iron rainwater goods.
Statement of Special Interest
Original plans dated 5th December 1923, incorporating earlier bandstand. A remarkable and relatively intact example of flamboyant seaside architecture. With its pagoda roofs, curvilinear Art Nouveau decoration, inner and outer promenades, cartouches and finials, this glazed steel-framed structure remains true to its original form. Furthermore, the steel ribbed dome is now one of the most important pieces of work from the renowned Saracen foundry surviving in Scotland (the majority of their work having been exported). Prefabricated in Glasgow using MacFarlane Foundry Castings, the structure was shipped across the Clyde and erected on Rothesay's Esplanade. Most girder roofs are confined to train sheds such as that at Wemyss Bay (James Miller, 1903). The Winter Garden therefore is of great significance - a key example of the firm's large-scale work.
Rothesay is one of Scotland's premier seaside resorts, developed primarily during the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries, and incorporates an earlier medieval settlement. The town retains a wide range of buildings characteristic of its development as a high status 19th century holiday resort, including a range of fine villas, a Victorian pier and promenade.
The history and development of Rothesay is defined by two major phases. The development of the medieval town, centred on Rothesay Castle, and the later 19th and early 20th century development of the town as a seaside resort. Buildings from this later development, reflect the wealth of the town during its heyday as a tourist destination, and include a range of domestic and commercial architecture of a scale sometimes found in larger burghs. Both the 19th and early 20th century growth of the town, with a particular flourish during the inter-war period, included areas of reclaimed foreshore, particularly along the coast to the east of the town and around the pier and pleasure gardens.
(List description revised as part of Rothesay listing review 2010-11).
Bandstand appears on Ordnance Survey map, 1896; J MacCallum "WISH YOU WERE HERE": A PICTURE POSTCARD VIEW OF EDWARDIAN BUTE (bandstand p6); B Edwards SCOTTISH SEASIDE TOWNS (1986) p115; D N Marshall HISTORY OF BUTE (1992) p56; F Walker & F Sinclair NORTH CLYDE ESTUARY: AN ILLUSTRATED ARCHITECTURAL GUIDE (1992) p156; A B D A plans (Entertainment Hall for Rothesay Town Council, Alexander Stephen, Burgh Surveyor, 1923).
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