The Lady Guilford, Scottish Maritime Museum

Lincoln Conservation have recently completed a comprehensive Conservation Report, in collaboration with Chris Weeks of Manx National Heritage on the Lady Guilford, at the Scottish Maritime Museum for The Mount Stuart Trust.

  • X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analysis on the paints at the stern

    X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analysis on the paints at the stern

  • Cross sectional microscope image of the paint layers inside the boat

    Cross sectional microscope image of the paint layers inside the boat

  • Views inside the boat

    Views inside the boat

  • Views inside the boat

    Views inside the boat

In 1819, the Marquess of Bute commissioned Scottish boat-builder Lachlan McLean to build a sailing galley. Using local oak and larch timber, McLean built a three-masted, lugger-rigged open sailing and rowing boat, fitted with 12 oars. The Marquess named her Lady Guilford - probably in honour of his new wife Lady Maria North, the only daughter of the Earl of Guilford.

The boat was later re-rigged as a schooner and became a working boat, ferrying people and cargo to and from the island. In later years still, an engine was added and she remained in service until the 1930s.

Lady Guilford is a very early, complete and largely unaltered survivor of a Scots wooden vessel of any type, and is possibly the oldest surviving Scottish built boat. She is on loan to the Scottish Maritime Museum from the present Marquess of Bute, Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute.

We discovered the original green paint scheme surviving beneath the accumulated layers of later overpaints, with a detailed analysis of the paint layers providing an insight into the nature of the alterations and additions made to the vessel throughout her 100 year working life.