Fort George in Ardersier near Inverness was built in the aftermath of the 1745 rebellion. It was the mightiest artillery fortification in the whole of Great Britain, if not of Europe. It was intended to be an impregnable base – a clear statement that such an uprising could never happen again. It cost, in today’s terms, almost £1 billion. But when it was completed in 1769, the Highlands of Scotland had been well and truly pacified.
Today, it’s the only ancient monument in Scotland which are still working as a functional army barracks. Despite this, it is a major tourist attraction and next month it will celebrate 2000 years of history when it welcomes Romans, Vikings and, from the modern era, land girls as part of Historic Scotland’s “Celebration of the Centuries” event.
From the 10th to 11 August, over two hundred and fifty performers will be at the Fort. They’ll enact scenes from Scotland’s history, from the Picts, the Romans and the Vikings, through the Medieval, Renaissance, Reformation and Jacobite eras right up to World War I and II. It will start with a grand parade led by the Romans and conclude with the two world wars, including an appearance by the Spitfire from the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. The event will also feature re-enactors from all over the UK. Visitors can also enjoy colourful living history camps, watch dramatic presentations in the main arena and experience the music and dance of the 1940’s throughout both days.
Gillian Urquhart, Events Manager for Historic Scotland, said the organisation was “delighted to be bringing Celebration of the Centuries to Fort George again this year. It’s a truly fantastic experience to see 2,000 years of history unfold before your eyes. You can be enjoying the 1940’s big band sounds at one minute, then turn a corner and be facing the guard of the roman empire! It’s just like having your own tardis and being able to step into the past!”
Tickets are available with a 10% discount online at www.historic-scotland.gov.uk or alternatively can be purchased on the day.