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Scottish Gaelic: Ros Neimhidh
Rosneath is located in Argyll and Bute
 Rosneath shown within Argyll and Bute
Population 931 (2001 census)
OS grid reference NS253833
Council area Argyll and Bute
Lieutenancy area Dunbartonshire
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Helensburgh
Postcode district G84
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
List of places

Coordinates: 56°00′40″N 4°48′09″W / 56.01098°N 4.80249°W / 56.01098; -4.80249

View from caravan site at Castle Point, looking northwest across Rosneath Bay to the pier and village.

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[1], and about 2 miles (3 kilometres) 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.

At the 2001 census,[2] its population was 931. Rosneath lies approximately 44 mi (71 km) from Glasgow by road. It is situated on the B833, a shoreside minor thoroughfare that serves the peninsula.

St Modan's Parish Church of Scotland and St Gildas' Roman Catholic Church serve the communities of Rosneath and Clynder.


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."[3] Another account indicates that it may come from Ross-neoth, or unwooded headland.[4] 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 Primary School

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.

Famous people[edit]

John Anderson FRS, the 18th century scientist, educational pioneer and radical who founded Strathclyde University, was born in Rosneath where his father served as minister of the parish church.

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. Moses final resting place has been marked with a plaque by Rangers FC and members of the local community.

Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, the daughter of Queen Victoria, lived at Rosneath Castle prior to its demolition in 1940.

William de Bois Maclaren, publisher, business man and Scout Commissioner, purchased Gilwell Park and donated it to the Scout Association in 1919.


  1. ^ Rosneath Peninsula
  2. ^ 2001 Scottish Census
  3. ^ Statistical Accounts of Scotland - Roseneath, County of Dumbarton. Account of 1791-99, vol.4, p. 71.
  4. ^ Statistical Accounts of Scotland - Roseneath, County of Dumbarton. Account of 1834-45, vol.8, p. 102.

External links[edit]