Fort George Needs You!
6 April 2009
This week, young visitors to Fort George, near Inverness – the country’s mightiest military fortification - may find themselves being press-ganged into the British army.
From 11am to 3pm on Monday 6th to Thursday 9th April, they will be able to meet a colourfully costumed 18th century Redcoat drill sergeant. He’ll be on the prowl, looking for recruits to man the fortress and maintain the north of Scotland’s defences following the Jacobite Risings – one of the most turbulent times in Scotland’s history.
The stern sergeant will be putting the young ‘volunteers’ he finds through their paces on the parade ground. And the children will get a chance to find out just how disciplined and demanding the life of a Redcoat soldier really was.
Historic Scotland interpretation manager Sheena Garden said: “The recruiting and drilling techniques of our Redcoat sergeant offer added entertainment for families visiting Fort George. In addition to the fun though, this type of event – which is included in the admission price - helps children understand more about the fascinating history of this impressive fortress and learn about the military life of the hundreds of infantry soldiers who were garrisoned here.”
NOTES FOR EDITORS
- Fort George is 6 miles west of Nairn and 11 miles north east of Inverness, off the A96. Admission tickets are: Adult £6.70, Child £3.35, Concession £5.20; Historic Scotland Members free.
- Positioned strategically on a promontory jutting into the Moray Firth, Fort George is the mightiest artillery fortification in Britain, if not Europe. Built following the 1746 defeat at Culloden of Bonnie Prince Charlie, this impregnable army base was designed on a monumental scale, as the ultimate defence against further Jacobite unrest.
- Completed in 1769, when the Highlands were peaceful, the fortress was maintained in readiness for action that never came and has remained virtually unaltered. With its garrison buildings, barrack rooms and superb collection of arms, including bayoneted muskets, pikes, swords and ammunition pouches, it provides a fascinating insight into 18th century military life.
- Highlights for visitors to Fort George include: the complex array of artillery fortifications on the landward side – the best in the British Isles; the regimental museum of the Queen’s Own Highlanders (Seaforths & Camerons) – the spiritual home of one of Scotland’s oldest and proudest regiments; the grand magazine – designed to hold 2,672 gunpowder barrels, and now housing the spectacular Seafield Collection of 18th-century arms and military equipment; the historic barrack rooms – graphically recreating soldiers’ living conditions in centuries gone by; the garrison chapel – designed probably by Robert Adam, whose family construction company built the fort; the dog cemetery – one of only two in Scotland, the resting-place of regimental mascots and officers’ dogs.
- Fort George is one of 345 historic properties in the care of Historic Scotland. These range from prehistoric settlements to palaces, cathedrals and castles – including some of Scotland’s most famous and prestigious strongholds such as Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart Castles. For further details visit www.historic-scotland.gov.uk
- Historic Scotland’s Mission is: to safeguard Scotland’s historic environment and to promote its understanding and enjoyment.
- Historic Scotland is delighted to be supporting the 2009 Year of Homecoming with a series of initiatives including family trails, spectacular events and the creation of a Homecoming Pass for heritage attractions in association with other heritage organisations.