Statement of Special Interest
Situated in the centre of Ardersier, 66 High Street is a good example of a substantial late 18th century commercial building built in a domestic scale. Comprising two storeys, the building is set on prominent gushet site. It is built from rubble with tooled ashlar margins. As is typical of properties of this period, the first floor windows are set close to the eaves. The footprint of the 18th century building as evident on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map of 1881, which was surveyed in 1878, is still visible.
It is likely that the former hotel building was built as a direct consequence of the construction of the nearby Fort George. According to local knowledge, it was constructed as a look-out post for the roads leading to and from Fort George, and then became an inn in around 1812. It was also a shop, as historic photos of the building show a painted sign above the windows with the words advertising 'chandler', 'tobacco' and 'grocer' services.
The Buildings of Scotland Highlands and Islands volume notes that Ardersier was laid out by the Campbells of Cawdor in the 18th century. Ardersier has its origins in the communities of Stuarton and Campbelltown. Its strategic position close to the narrowest sea crossing across the Moray Firth played a large part in its development from the mid-18th century. While it functioned primarily as a fishing village, the Jacobite Rising had an impact on its history.
The Jacobite Rising of 1745–6 proved to be the last attempt by the Stewart dynasty to regain the British throne from the Hanoverians. Following the Battle of Culloden, the government introduced ruthless measures to suppress Jacobite ambitions. Fort George was one of them, and it was built between 1748-69, just a short distance from Ardersier. It was designed as the main garrison fortress in the Scottish Highlands and named after King George II (1727–60). Intended as an impregnable army base, it was designed on a monumental scale, using sophisticated defence standards, with heavy guns covering every angle. Within the boundary walls was accommodation for a governor, officers, and artillery detachment and a 1,600-strong infantry garrison. It also housed more than 80 guns, a magazine for 2,500 gunpowder barrels, ordnance and provision stores, a brewhouse and a chapel.
The Statistical Account for the parish of Ardersier notes that, 'In the village of Campbelltown, which owes its birth to the garrison of Fort-George, there are 293 souls.' The ordnance survey map of 1881 (surveyed 1878) shows Ardersier under its previous names of Stuarton at the left side of the village, and Campbelltown, at the right side of the village. The village became known officially as Ardersier in the 1970s.
The impact of the building of Fort George for the community was significant. It provided a ready market for goods and a number of soldiers also decided to stay in Ardersier following their commission.
Category changed from B to C, statutory address and listed building record updated in 2015. Previously listed as 'Ardersier Village, 66 High Street, Alma Hotel'.
Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland: http://www.rcahms.gov.uk/canmore.html CANMORE ID 104116
Ordnance Survey. (1871) Nairnshire, Sheet III. 6 inch to mile. 1st Edition. London: Ordnance Survey.
Statistical Account (1791-99) Ardersier, County of Inverness, Vol. 4. p.88-91.
New Statistical Account (1834-45) Ardersier, County of Inverness, .tistical Account,urvey.group oric architecturla cular buildings as Vol. 14. p.462-473.
Gifford, J. (1992). Buildings of Scotland: Highland and Islands. London: Penguin Books. p.148.
www.ardersier.org/history/origins-of-ardersier (accessed 14-08-14)
About Listed Buildings
Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.
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Printed: 19/04/2019 08:16