History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The fort is named for King George II, who had it built to prevent any further Jacobite risings in the north. That helps explain why the most impressive defences of Fort George are directed inland instead of out to sea. Those defences are quite extraordinary; Fort George is the most imposing artillery fort in the UK, possibly in Europe. The fort is defended by a complex maze of ramparts and bastions, ditches and firing ledges.
The fort is huge; everything about it was built on a grand scale, with an outer boundary wall stretching over a mile in circumference. Inside the bristling defences are quarters for over 1600 soldiers, with further quarters for officers, a fort governor, and an artillery detachment.
Aside from residential housing, there are extensive armouries, including a magazine made to hold more than 2,500 barrels of gunpowder. In an interesting juxtaposition, the spiritual and social needs of the soldiers were looked after by a garrison chapel and a brewhouse.
The fort was finished in 1769 but never had to fulfil its primary role of defence against Jacobites, for no further risings took place. However, the main layout of the fort and its historic barracks remained almost unaltered, and now, centuries later, they provide a fascinating glimpse into Georgian military life and attitudes.
But this is not a dry museum; Fort George is still a fully functioning military barracks. It is thus the only Historic Scotland property still fulfilling its original purpose.
Highlights of Fort George include the artillery fortifications facing inland; these have been called the finest in Britain. Within the fort is the Regimental Museum of the Highlanders (Seaforths & Camerons). On display in the cavernous Grand Magazine is the Seafield Collection of 18th-century armaments and military equipment.
There are displays in the old barracks to show what life was like for soldiers over the past several centuries. Another highlight is the garrison chapel, probably built to a design by famed Georgian architect Robert Adam.
We do not know for certain that Adam designed the chapel, but it seems highly likely, as his family building company had the contract to construct the fort. He did not design the fort itself, however; that was designed by Lieutenant-General William Skinner, the first Governor of Fort George.
One unusual feature is a dog cemetery for regimental mascots and officers dogs. This is one of only two such dog cemeteries in Scotland.
About Fort George
Address: Fort George, Highlands, Scotland, IV2 7TD
Attraction Type: Historic Building - Military Fort
Location: At the end of the B9006 (Old Military Road), about 10 miles north east of Inverness
Website: Fort George
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Groam House Museum - 2.4 miles (Museum)
Fortrose Cathedral - 2.9 miles (Cathedral)
Cawdor Castle - 6.1 miles (Castle)
Cromarty Courthouse Museum - 6.8 miles (Museum)
Hugh Miller's Cottage - 6.8 miles (Museum)
Culloden Battlefield - 7.4 miles (Museum)
Clava Cairns - 8 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Boath Doocot - 9 miles (Historic Building)
Nearest Accommodation to Fort George:
Nearby accommodation is calculated 'as the crow flies' from Fort George. 'Nearest' may involve a long drive up and down glens or, if you are near the coast, may include a ferry ride! Please check the property map to make sure the location is right for you.
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