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Kilwhimen Barracks, Fort Augustus

A Scheduled Monument in Aird and Loch Ness, Highland

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Latitude: 57.1437 / 57°8'37"N

Longitude: -4.6828 / 4°40'58"W

OS Eastings: 237773

OS Northings: 809058

OS Grid: NH377090

Mapcode National: GBR G9TV.1RT

Mapcode Global: WH2FK.1PCY

Entry Name: Kilwhimen Barracks, Fort Augustus

Scheduled Date: 25 October 2001

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM9903

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: barracks

Location: Boleskine and Abertarff

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Aird and Loch Ness

Traditional County: Inverness-shire


The monument consists of the remains of Kilwhimen (or Kilcumein) Barracks built in 1718. Kilwhimen was one of four barracks erected by the Hanovarian Government after the 1715 rising to control the Highlands, the others being at Bernara, Ruthven and Inversnaid. Kilwhimen was built in a strategic location mid-way along the Great Glen.

However, it was soon abandoned in favour of a position closer to loch, with the building of Fort Augustus from 1729 to 1742. However, Kilwhimen was to play a vital role in the 1745 rising when the Jacobite forces seized the barracks, and from it bombarded and reduced Fort Augustus.

All four barracks were of a similar form, although no two were exactly the same; plans of the period show that Kilwhimen was the largest of the four. Kilwhimen was originally laid out with two barrack blocks facing each other across a barrack square. The double pile construction of Kilwhimen, with M gables, was also used at Bernera, while the smaller barracks at Inversnaid and Ruthven had single room width barrack buildings.

The other two sides of the fort were provided with rampart walks carried on vaulted undercrofts. Towers at the NW and SE angles of the enclosure provided some flanking fire and extra accommodation. The remains now consist of the west curtain wall, 34m long and 4m high in places, pierced by a central gateway and ten gun embrasures. A number of lean-to buildings have been erected along the inside face of the west curtain wall.

The area to be scheduled consists of the W wall of the barracks. The area has maximum dimensions of 35m NNW-SSE and 2m transversely as marked in red on the attached map. All modern additions are excluded from the scheduling.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as the remains of one of the four Hanovarion Forts built to pacify the Highlands after the 1715 and 1719 Jacobite risings. The fact that it was subsequently eclipsed by Fort Augustus and was then used in the 1745 rising to bombard Fort Augustus, demonstrates the failure of this phase of Government fort-building to suppress the Jacobite cause in the Highlands.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NH 30 NE 5.


Stell, G. (1973) 'Highland Garrisons 1717-23: Bernera Barracks', Post-Medieval Archaeology'.

Tabraham, C. and Grove, D. (1995) Fortress Scotland and the Jacobites, B. T. Batsford Ltd & Historic Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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