The military Fort Augustus, constructed between 1729-42 is partially incorporated in the present Abbey buildings, which date variously between 1876 and 1980. Architects; Peter Paul Pugin and Joseph Hanson, father and son.
Large mainly 3-storey ranges of Gothic buildings grouped around cloistered square; all grey rubble with contrasting tooled ashlar sandstone dressings. Monastery; W entrance front; tall 2-storey and double attic, symmetrical building with advanced wide gabled centre bay containing stairwell, flanked each side by 3 narrow bays, lit at 1st floor by 4-light flat-headed cusped and traceried window with single
side lights; stair bay fronted by projecting single-storey porch/corridor oversailing former fort moat.
E garden front; long asymmetrical 3-storey and attic, 9-bay elevation with advanced and gabled outer bays; part 7-stage, part 5-stage tower (P. P. Pugin) with variety of stepped stair and Gothic windows; pyramidal roof, round-headed entrance in base.
Cloisters; P. P. Pugin, 1880. Cloister surrounds central square; Geometric Gothic tracery to each opening; wall-head parapet with continuous quatrefoil detailing.
Ribbed vaulting to cloister, paved with geometric tiles.
School; N elevation, J. Hanson father and son. Wide 3-storey irregular facade with centre advanced tower rising 7 stages with open porch in base, oriel windows in 1st and 2nd floors; penultimate stage has heavily corbelled crenellated parapet to 3 sides within which rises octagonal crenellated clock tower with clock faces on 4 sides above louvred round-headed openings; circular stair turret at SE. Tall wide gabled bays flank tower with ground and 1st floor windows linked in
vertical panels (more elaborate to left). Varied fenestration, some mullioned and transomed, some with cusped detailing in upper lights and mainly with 2-pane glazing; tall coped ridge stacks; steeply pitched slate roofs with contrasting banding of differing slates and apex cross
Triangular military fort bastion survives at NE angle; tall rubble wall with pulvinated string course and former angle bartizan replaced by square stack.
INTERIOR: not seen. Contains Roman stone sculptured slab, circa 21 inches long and circa 19 inches high with relief of 3 'Mother Goddesses', set into wall in high ceilinged entrance passage of monastery over door to small meeting room. Moved from Hailes House, Colinton, 1925 (see Notes).