Fort Augustus is a settlement in the parish of Boleskine and
Abertarff, at the south west end of Loch Ness, Scottish Highlands. The
village has a population of around 646 (2001); its economy is
heavily reliant on tourism.
4 See also
6 External links
Section of dismantled railway south of Fort Augustus
The Gaelic name for the modern village is Cille Chuimein and until the
early 18th century the settlement was called Kiliwhimin. It was
Fort Augustus after the Jacobite Rising of 1715. The accepted
etymology is that the settlement was originally named after Saint
Iona who built a church there. Other suggestions are
that it was originally called Ku Chuimein after one of two abbots of
Iona of the Comyn clan, whose badge Lus mhic Chuimein refers to the
cumin plant, or that it was called Cill a' Chuimein ("Comyn's
Burialplace") after the last Comyn in Lochaber.
In the aftermath of the Jacobite rising in 1715, General Wade built a
fort (taking from 1729 until 1742) which was named after the Duke of
Cumberland. Wade had planned to build a town around the new barracks
and call it Wadesburgh. The settlement grew, and eventually took
the name of this fort. The fort was captured by the Jacobites in April
1745, just prior to the Battle of Culloden.
In 1867, the fort was sold to the Lovat family, and in 1876 they
passed the site and land to the
Benedictine order. The monks
Fort Augustus Abbey
Fort Augustus Abbey and later a school. The school
operated until 1993 when it closed owing to changing educational
Scotland causing a decline in enrollment. The monks
employed Tony Harmsworth to devise a rescue package which saw the
site converted into the largest private heritage centre in Scotland
which operated between 1994 and 1998, however the heritage centre
failed to generate sufficient profit to maintain the buildings. In
1998 the monks abandoned the site, and it reverted to the Lovat family
which in turn sold it to Terry Nutkins. He also owned the Lovat
Hotel that stands on the site of the old Kilwhimen Barracks, one of
four built in 1718. This site houses the west curtain wall of the old
Fort, intact with gun embrasures. The Lovat was originally built as
the local Station Hotel.
See also: Invergarry and
Fort Augustus Railway
The village was served by a rail line from
Spean Bridge to a terminus
on the banks of
Loch Ness from 1903 until 1933, built by the North
British Railway, but initially operated by the Highland Railway. The
Caledonian Canal connecting Fort William to
Inverness passes through
Fort Augustus in a dramatic series of locks stepping down to Loch
The village is served by the Cill Chuimein Medical Centre.
The village has both a primary school and a secondary school –
Kilchuimen Primary School and
Kilchuimen Academy – which share a
As with the rest of the
British Isles and Scotland, Fort Augustus
experiences a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. As
with much of the surrounding area, sunshine levels are low, around
1000 hours per annum, and temperatures unpredictable - Fort Augustus
holds the UK's joint lowest May temperature record of −9.4 °C
(15.1 °F), also the latest point in run up to summer such a
temperature has been recorded suggesting it can become a frost trap on
calm clear nights due to its valley location. That same low lying
topography can also give rise to some high temperatures on occasion -
Fort Augustus held the UK daily high temperature record for 16
December for almost 80 years.
Climate data for
Fort Augustus 1971-2000, 21m asl, (Sunshine and
Average high °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Source #1: YR.NO
Source #2: ScotClim
^ "Gaelic Place-Names of
Scotland database". Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba.
Retrieved 7 May 2016.
^ www.highland.gov.uk Archived 20 December 2004 at the Wayback
^ am baile -
Fort Augustus Archived 11 March 2007 at the Wayback
^ Clan Comyn, Cumming
^ MacMillan 3 Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
^ Caledonian Mercury 1 August 1727
^ Loch Ness, Nessie & Me (2011)
^ ICSH - Home Archived 12 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
^ "May Temperature". TORRO.
^ "1893 Temperature". TORRO.
Fort Augustus 1971-2000". YR.NO. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
Fort Augustus 1951-1980". ScotClim. Retrieved 2 November
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Fort Augustus.
Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article
Fort Augustus Abbey
Fort Augustus Railway
Fort Augustus Website
Video of lock operations on the
Caledonian Canal at Fort Augustus