|Scottish Gaelic: Ros Neimhidh|
Rosneath shown within Argyll and Bute
|Population||931 (2001 census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Council area||Argyll and Bute|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Rosneath (Ros Neimhidh in Gaelic) is a village in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. It sits on the western shore of the Gare Loch near to the tip of the Rosneath peninsula which projects south to the Firth of Clyde between the Gare Loch and Loch Long to the west, and about 2 miles (3 km) from the village of Kilcreggan which is sited on the southern end of the peninsula, on the shores of the Firth of Clyde. The large town of Greenock is directly opposite on the southern shore of the Firth. The Gare Loch narrows at Rosneath to under half a mile (around 600 metres) at a place known as the Rhu Narrows after the village of Rhu on the eastern shore of the loch.
The Rosneath area has been settled from at least 600 onwards, when St. Modan, a travelling missionary, founded a church there. The name Rosneath may have its roots in this era; it is derived from the Gaelic Rossnachoich, meaning "Virgin's Headland." Another account indicates that it may come from Ross-neoth, or unwooded headland. The name has historically been misspelled as Roseneath (notably in both the First and New (or Second) Statistical Accounts of Scotland). A more visible example is Roseneath Street in Greenock which overlooks the village and dates from around 1900.
Later, the area was heavily fortified, with Rosneath's own castling joining those of nearby Faslane and Shandon (located at Faslane and Shandon), all of which are long since gone. Rosneath village did not yet fully exist by this time; instead, Rosneath parish was home to many free-standing dwellings, the occupants of which were for the vast bulk of the area's history employed in agriculture and fishing. Frequent shipping services to Glasgow, Greenock and beyond were vital for the local economy until recently.
Rosneath Castle was ruined and rebuilt many times; the final rebuilding came in 1803, three years after the previous building burnt down. Located further uphill from previous versions, it belonged to the Duke of Argyll whose family retained it until Princess Louise died in 1939. In stark contrast to the earlier castles, it was in the Romanesque style.
From 1941 to 1945, Rosneath was home to an important naval base, thanks to its location in the well-sheltered natural harbour of the Gare Loch. The Americans used Rosneath Castle as a base of operations. The castle was later demolished in 1963.
The Rosneath peninsula was formerly in the traditional County of Dunbarton until local government reorganisation moved it into the Argyll and Bute council area in 1996.
The founder of the first Rangers FC team, Moses McNeil, lived at Clynder, just outside Rosneath. He was buried at the Old Churchyard of Rosneath in 1938. His death went unnoticed at the time by the media and he had nothing to leave in his will. Rangers FC and the local community intends to recognise the spot with an appropriate monument.
Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, the daughter of Queen Victoria, lived at Rosneath Castle prior to its demolition in 1940.
- ^ Rosneath Peninsula
- ^ 2001 Scottish Census
- ^ Statistical Accounts of Scotland - Roseneath, County of Dumbarton. Account of 1791-99, vol.4, p. 71.
- ^ Statistical Accounts of Scotland - Roseneath, County of Dumbarton. Account of 1834-45, vol.8, p. 102.
- Map showing Ross Neitt peninsula (Rosneath), circa 1600, National Library of Scotland