Annagassan at time of the Bute wedding 1905

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A rare photograph (above) taken at the time of the Bute wedding in 1905 shows a view of Annagassan which has seldom been seen before.

It was taken just after the wedding party had left village for the Princess Maud steamer which was moored off the coast. The yacht took the Marquis of Bute and his new bride Augusta Bellingham to Stranraer, and from there the couple went to stay at a Scottish castle with bonfires greeting them all along the way.

The above photograph shows the crowds gathered at Annagassan. To the right, people have gathered on the shore where the pier now stands. The pier was not built until five years later in 1910.

The photograph was sent to us by Pat Corrigan from Drumleck, Castlebellingham, whose grandfather, Michael Sharkey, The Lynns Annagassan, was one of the four men who rowed the couple out to the yacht.

In fact, all four boatmen were Sharkeys and all were experienced fishermen and suitable for the job.

They can be seen in the Scottish Archive film of the Bute Wedding which was made 109 years ago.

The film was lost for over a hundred years in Mount Stuart, the Bute family palace on the isle of Bute in south-west Scotland.

It took several years to restore. It shows scenes from a garden party on the lawn of Bellingham Castle, given by Augusta Bellingham on the eve of her wedding, then the wedding party filing into the church the following morning, then leaving the church after the wedding, and finally leaving Annagassan on the evening of the wedding.

In 1914, the Marquis John Crichton-Stuart, enlisted in the British army as a private after his younger brother had been killed in action. He was later given an officer’s commission. During the First World War Mount Stewart was converted into a hospital for British naval officers.

After the war Lady Augusta Bute was made a Dame of the British Empire (DBE). The marquis died in April 1947 after a long illness. Augusta died six weeks later and is buried alongside him on the family estate.


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