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Fort George

Near Inverness

Following the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobite army at Culloden, the Hanoverian King George II put up the ultimate defence against any further unrest - Fort George.

Built on a barren spit of land jutting in the Moray Firth at Ardersier, north east of Inverness, Fort George is the mightiest artillery fortification in Britain, if not in Europe. Its elaborate 18th-century bastioned defences and original garrison buildings survive intact. Almost a mile around, Fort George encloses an area of 42 acres (Edinburgh Castle esplanade would fit into its parade ground).

Despite taking 21 years to complete and costing nearly £1 billion at today's prices, Fort George never saw a shot fired in anger.

The historic barrack rooms are a time capsule of the domestic life of the Scottish soldier. Private John Anderson of the 42nd Royal Highlanders sits polishing his musket in the barrack room of 1780 that he shared with seven of his comrades, two to a bed. Nearly a hundred years later Private John Moffat had the relative luxury of a single bed and just five men to the room, where he was encouraged to be active rather than be idle or drunk.

Writing at his desk in 1813, during the Napoleonic Wars, Major Andrew Coghlan enjoyed larger and lighter accommodation. The addition of window shutters and fine panelled doors mark this as an officer's room.

The Seafield Collection

One of the many highlights of a visit to Fort George is the fascinating Seafield Collection of arms and military equipment on display in the grand magazine. This superb collection, most of which dates from the Napoleonic Wars, includes India Pattern muskets with bayonets from 1794, pikes, swords and ammunition pouches and knapsacks.

Fort George is a must-visit on any trip to the Highlands. There is so much to see in Fort George, from the imposing artillery defences bristling with cannon to the grand magazine, built to hold 2500 barrels of gunpowder. The Fort also offers magnificent views across the Moray Firth and is a favourite spot for dolphin watching.

Fort George includes the Regimental Museum of The Queen's Own Highlanders (opening times may vary in winter, please telephone to confirm).

This property is managed by Historic Scotland.

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By Car:
6 miles west of Nairn, 11 miles north-east of Inverness off the A96.

By Bus:
Highland Bus & Coach Company (No. 11) from the Post Office, Queensgate, Inverness.

By Rail:
Inverness station 11 miles, Nairn station 7 miles.

Fort George Postcode for SatNav: IV2 7TE


+44 (0)1667 462 232

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