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Fort-Augustus, Inverness-shire

Historical Description

FORT-AUGUSTUS, a village, a post-town and for a time a quoad sacra district, in the parish of Boleskine and Abertarff, county of Inverness, 131 miles (N. W.) from Edinburgh; containing about 700 inhabitants. This place is situated at the south-western extremity of Loch Ness, in the middle of the county. It derives its origin from the establishment of a garrison here in 1729, for the purpose of checking the proceedings of some clans that were favourable to the house of Stuart; Fort-Augustus being the central of a chain of three forts, all built with the same design, across the Highlands. The name was given in honour of the then Prince of Wales, father of George III. The fort stands on a peninsula formed by the rivers Tarff and Oich: it is of a square form, with bastions at the corners, on which twelve six-pounders can be mounted; and is defended by a ditch, with a battery, a covert-way, and glacis. The barracks are constructed for one field-officer, four captains, twelve subalterns, and 280 rank and file. In 1745 the fort was taken by the Highlanders, and dismantled, but was soon repaired, and became the focus of some of those severe military operations by which the Highlanders were completely subdued. It is now under the charge of a barrack- master and a few soldiers from Fort-George, whither the guns were removed some years since. The village is seated behind the fort, on the slope of an alluvial terrace; and the scenery in the vicinity is altogether of a wild and mountainous character. Over the Tarff is a bridge, kept in repair by government. Fairs are held on the Monday before the second Wednesday in June, and on the 20th of September, or, if not on that day, on the Monday before the 29th. A mission church, containing 368 sittings, was built about seventy or eighty years ago, partly by subscription, and partly by aid from government: the minister's salary is £74 per annum, chiefly paid by the Committee for managing the Royal Bounty. An ecclesiastical district comprising the whole of the ancient parish of Abertarff was for a time attached to the church. A commodious school-house and dwelling have been built by subscription. On a hill to the north of Oich is a Free church, a substantial and comfortable building, overlooking the village, and forming its chief ornament; it is seated for 444 persons, and under the same roof is an excellent schoolroom, forty-eight feet long, and eighteen feet broad. To the west of the village, and on the road from Inverness to Fort-William, is a Roman Catholic chapel, also a substantial building, seated for 250 persons. Several Roman coins were discovered in 1767.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 1851 by Samuel Lewis