NN1074 : Site of the Old Fort William

taken 6 years ago, near to Fort William/An Gearasdan, Highland, Great Britain

Site of the Old Fort William
Site of the Old Fort William
This pleasant, grassed picnic area was once the site of the old fort from which the present day town of Fort William gets its name.

In 1690, William of Orange ordered the commander of his forces in Scotland to build the fort on the site of an earlier more basic, wooded fortification erected in 1654 by Cromwell to control local Royalists. The new fort was named Fort William (after the King); its stone walls rose to a height of 20 feet and it was further protected by deep ditches together with the River Nevis and Loch Linnhe, making it a formidable, virtually impregnable stronghold from which the troops operated to keep the turbulent Highland Clans in check and to stop the local Jacobites helping the Stuart Royal Family. Its location, by the loch, also enabled supplies to be brought in safely by sea

After the Hanoverian army defeated Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobites on Culloden Moor in 1746, the need for a fully garrisoned fort receded but troops continued to be stationed here until 1855 and the War Office decided to sell the actual fort in 1864.

The barracks blocks were converted into houses and the ditch was made into gardens for the tenants but in 1889 the Fort was sold to the North British Railway Company under a Government compulsory purchase order in order to build its new railway station. Five years later, the railway line was built, cutting through the site of the fort and thus destroying it forever.

Over the years from 1937 onwards, the fort’s buildings were gradually demolished. However, the last block was used as a railwaymen’s dormitory until 1963. In 1975, the fort’s remaining walls (apart from the small section seen in the photo) were bulldozed to make way for the new road and rail layouts.
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NN1074, 326 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
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Date Taken
Wednesday, 26 March, 2014   (more nearby)
Submitted
Monday, 31 March, 2014
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Park and Public Gardens  City, Town centre  Defence, Military 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NN 1041 7427 [10m precision]
WGS84: 56:49.2688N 5:6.4911W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NN 1042 7423
View Direction
North-northwest (about 337 degrees)
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Other Tags
Grassed Area  Picnic Area  Historic Site  Fort 

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