Scheduled Monument

Kilwhimen Barracks, Fort AugustusSM9903

Status: Designated


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The legal document available for download below constitutes the formal designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The additional details provided on this page are provided for information purposes only and do not form part of the designation. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within this additional information.


Date Added
Secular: barracks; fort (non-prehistoric)
Local Authority
Boleskine And Abertarff
NH 37773 9058
237773, 809058


The monument consists of the remains of Kilwhimen (or Kilcumein) Barracks built in 1718. Kilwhimen was one of four barracks erected by the Hanovarian Government after the 1715 rising to control the Highlands, the others being at Bernara, Ruthven and Inversnaid. Kilwhimen was built in a strategic location mid-way along the Great Glen.

However, it was soon abandoned in favour of a position closer to loch, with the building of Fort Augustus from 1729 to 1742. However, Kilwhimen was to play a vital role in the 1745 rising when the Jacobite forces seized the barracks, and from it bombarded and reduced Fort Augustus.

All four barracks were of a similar form, although no two were exactly the same; plans of the period show that Kilwhimen was the largest of the four. Kilwhimen was originally laid out with two barrack blocks facing each other across a barrack square. The double pile construction of Kilwhimen, with M gables, was also used at Bernera, while the smaller barracks at Inversnaid and Ruthven had single room width barrack buildings.

The other two sides of the fort were provided with rampart walks carried on vaulted undercrofts. Towers at the NW and SE angles of the enclosure provided some flanking fire and extra accommodation. The remains now consist of the west curtain wall, 34m long and 4m high in places, pierced by a central gateway and ten gun embrasures. A number of lean-to buildings have been erected along the inside face of the west curtain wall.

The area to be scheduled consists of the W wall of the barracks. The area has maximum dimensions of 35m NNW-SSE and 2m transversely as marked in red on the attached map. All modern additions are excluded from the scheduling.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as the remains of one of the four Hanovarion Forts built to pacify the Highlands after the 1715 and 1719 Jacobite risings. The fact that it was subsequently eclipsed by Fort Augustus and was then used in the 1745 rising to bombard Fort Augustus, demonstrates the failure of this phase of Government fort-building to suppress the Jacobite cause in the Highlands.



RCAHMS records the monument as NH 30 NE 5.


Stell, G. (1973) 'Highland Garrisons 1717-23: Bernera Barracks', Post-Medieval Archaeology'.

Tabraham, C. and Grove, D. (1995) Fortress Scotland and the Jacobites, B. T. Batsford Ltd & Historic Scotland.

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Scheduling is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments and archaeological sites of national importance as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments that are found to be of national importance using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Scheduled monument records provide an indication of the national importance of the scheduled monument which has been identified by the description and map. The description and map (see ‘legal documents’ above) showing the scheduled area is the designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary and provided for general information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within the statement of national importance or additional information. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief. Some information will not have been recorded and the map will not be to current standards. Even if what is described and what is mapped has changed, the monument is still scheduled.

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Printed: 22/07/2024 03:40