Bishops Visit – Fort George – An expensive insurance policy


Outside of Inverness is Fort George. Built following the defeat of the Jacobite rebellion at Culloden in 1746, the fort was intended to be a deterrent to further rebellion by the Clans who sought to restore the Stuarts to the throne of England and Scotland. It cost 200,000 pound which was an enormous sum for the time. It incorporates some old defensive items like two moats and draw bridges, a palisade, battlements and watch towers, but it includes modern innovations like the low profile and the star shape none of which has ever been tested as James fled to France never to contest his right to the throne against William and Mary. By the way Jacobite takes its name from Jacobitism, from Jacobus, the Latin form of James.

The fortification is based on a Star design, it remains virtually unaltered and nowadays is open to visitors with exhibits and recreations showing use at different periods, while still serving as army barracks. Originally the depot of the Seaforth Highlanders and later the Queen’s Own Highlanders (Seaforths and Camerons), it was more recently home to the Royal Irish Regiment, and as of 2007, the new garrison of the Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland.


The fort housed a lieutenant-governor as administrator and as the fort became like mini village wives and children also. The governor’s residence has been turned into the Highlanders’ Museum – well worth a visit to understand all the different highland regiments that have been formed.


As it is on the end of a promontory into the Firth of Moray, it is open to the wind and it must get bitterly clod on the battlements. My trip up on a sunny day with little wind was enough for me to be certain I did not want any guard duty. Entry costs about 8 pound and you get an audio tour guide. When we returned our audio guides to the gift shop, I noticed “Stag’s Breath”. so one of my readers will be happy to know that I remembered him despite his criticism of my blogs – he may be lucky enough to see it arrive back to Australia unopened.


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