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Fort George


Fort George, is the mightiest artillery fortification in Britain.

Fort George

An Outstanding Artillery Fortification

Fort George is the finest example of 18th-century military engineering anywhere in the British Isles.

Strategically positioned on a promontory jutting into the Moray Firth, the fort was intended as an impregnable army base. It was designed on a monumental scale, using sophisticated defence standards, with heavy guns covering every angle. Today, it would cost nearly £1 billion.

Within the boundary walls was accommodation for a governor, officers, and artillery detachment and a 1,600-strong infantry garrison. It also housed more than 80 guns, a magazine for 2,500 gunpowder barrels, ordnance and provision stores, a brewhouse and a chapel.

Countering the Jacobite Threat

The Jacobite Rising of 1745–6 proved to be the last attempt by the Stewart dynasty to regain the British throne from the Hanoverians. Following the Battle of Culloden, just 8 miles (12km) from Fort George, the government introduced ruthless measures to suppress Jacobite ambitions. Fort George was one of them, named after King George II (1727–60). It was designed as the main garrison fortress in the Scottish Highlands.

The Architecture of Warfare

Lieutenant-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 Base

Fort George never fired a shot in anger. Later in the 1700s, 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.

Events at Fort George

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27 March 2015

The Honours of Scotland

Edinburgh Castle

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Allan Ramsay - Master Draughtsman

Duff House

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Weaving the Unicorn exhibition

Stirling Castle

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