Fort Augustus - Encyclopedia

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FORT AUGUSTUS, a village of Inverness-shire, Scotland. Pop. (1901) 706. It is delightfully situated at the south-western extremity of Loch Ness, about 30 m. S.W. of Inverness, on the rivers Oich and Tarff and the Caledonian Canal. A branch line connects with Spean Bridge on the West Highland railway via Invergarry. The fort, then called Kilchumin, was built in 1716 for the purpose of keeping the Highlanders in check, and was enlarged in 1730 by General Wade. It was captured by the Jacobites in 1745, but reoccupied after the battle of Culloden, when it received its present name in honour of William Augustus, duke of Cumberland, the victorious general. The fort was used as a sanatorium until 1857, when it was bought by the 12th Lord Lovat, whose son presented it in 1876 to the English order of Benedictines. Within four years there rose upon its site a pile of stately buildings under the title of St Benedict's Abbey and school, a monastic and collegiate institution intended for the higher education of the sons of the Roman Catholic nobility and gentry. The series of buildings consists of the college, monastery, hospice and scriptorium - the four forming a quadrangle connected by beautiful cloisters. Amongst its benefactors were many Catholic Scots and English peers and gentlemen whose arms are emblazoned on the windows of the spacious refectory hall. The summit of the college tower is 110 ft. high.

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