Kames Bay

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Kames, a bay, a hill, and a castellated mansion in North Bute parish, Buteshire. The bay, indenting the E side of Bute island, measures 9½ furlongs across the entrance, and 7½ thence to its inmost recess. It sweeps round in half-moon form, and has a good bathing beach. The hill overlooks the bay, rises to an altitude of 875 feet above sea-level, and commands a magnificent view. Kames Castle stands at the SE base of the hill, within ¼ mile of the bay, and 2¾ miles NNW of Rothesay, in the low fertile dingle which extends across the island to Etterick Bay. Loug the seat of the Bannatynes of Kames, it comprises a 14th century tower, with a house built on it by Sir William Macleod Bannatyne, Knt. (1743-1834), who, on his elevation to the bench in 1799, assumed the title of Lord Bannatyne, and from whom it passed to the Marquis of Bute. Kames Castle was the birthplace, and for three years the home, of the critic and essayist John Sterling (1806-44), whose biographer, Carlyle, describes it as 'a kind of dilapidated baronial residence, to which a small farm, rented by his father, was then attached.' Wester Kames Castle, once the seat of the Spences, 3 furlongs NNW of Kames Castle, was mainly a small tower of no great antiquity, and is now a ruin.—Ord. Sur., sh. 29, 1873.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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