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An Outstanding Artillery FortificationFort George is quite simply the finest example of 18th-century military engineering you’ll find anywhere in the British Isles. This vast garrison fortress was begun in the aftermath of the Battle of Culloden (1746), which crushed the final Jacobite Rising. It took over 20 years to complete and in the event it was never attacked. It remains virtually unaltered today, and still serves as an important military base.
Countering the Jacobite ThreatThe Jacobite Rising of 1745–6 proved to be the last attempt by the Stewart dynasty to regain the British throne from the Hanoverians. Following Culloden, fought just 8 miles (12km) from Fort George, the government introduced ruthless measures to prevent such a Rising happening again. Fort George was one of them, named after King George II (1727–60).
The Architecture of WarfareLieutenant-General William Skinner was the designer and first governor of Fort George. He mapped out a complex and fascinating interplay of ramparts and massive bastions, ditches and firing steps. The defences were heavily concentrated on the landward side of the promontory, from where an anticipated Jacobite assault would come. The remaining seaward sides were protected by long stretches of rampart and smaller bastions.
An Active Army BaseFort George never fired a shot in anger. Later in the 18th century, after the Jacobite threat had evaporated, the fort became a recruiting base and training camp for the rapidly expanding British Army. Many a Highland lad passed through its gates on his way to fight for the British Empire across the globe. Between 1881 and 1964 the fort served as the depot of the Seaforth Highlanders. The regimental museum of the Highlanders (Seaforths & Camerons) is there today. So is the British Army.