Following the 1746 defeat at Culloden of Bonnie Prince Charlie, George II created the ultimate defence against further Jacobite unrest. The result, Fort George, is the mightiest artillery fortification in Britain, if not Europe. Its garrison buildings, artillery defences bristling with cannon, and a superb collection of arms – including bayoneted muskets, pikes, swords and ammunition pouches – provide a fascinating insight into 18th-century military life. Positioned strategically on a promontory jutting into the Moray Firth, Fort George was intended as an impregnable army base – designed on a monumental scale using sophisticated defence standards. Within almost a mile of boundary walls was accommodation for a governor, officers, artillery detachment, and a 1,600-strong infantry garrison. Visitors today can see historic barrack rooms which are a time capsule of the domestic life of the Scottish soldier. Fort George is the only Ancient Monument in Scotland still functioning as intended – a working army barracks – yet welcoming visitors.
The Regimental Museum of the Queen’s Own Highlanders is here. There is also a summer living history programme, free audio tour in six languages, as well as a children’s trail. Visitors can also enjoy a shop selling a wide range of gifts and a café.
• 6m W of Nairn, 11m NE of Inverness off the A96
• Open all year. Last ticket sold 45 minutes before closing. Café open limited hours in winter
• Admission: Adult £6.70 Child £3.35 Concessions £5.20
• Wheelchairs available
• VisitScotland grading ????
Find out more about Fort George at historic-scotland.gov.uk
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