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Ruthven Barracks
NN 764-997 Highland Scotland

Ruthven BarracksRuthven Barracks was originally a 13th century earth and timber fortress, founded by the Comyn family. Standing on a commanding moraine mound left by ice age glaciers, it was raised in height to form the flat-topped castle. In the late 14th century, it was held by Alexander Stewart, the Wolf of Badenoch but after passing to Gordon, earl of Huntly in 1451, it was sacked by John MacDonald, earl of Ross. When King James II stayed in 1459 the fortification had been rebuilt in stone but in 1689 it was burnt by the Jacobite commander Viscount 'Bonnie' Dundee. Following the Jacobite rising of 1715, the Hanoverian government order the ruined castle demolished and from 1719 a garrison barracks was erected on the mound. With two large three storey blocks, occupying two sides of the enclosure, the enclosing walls, barracks and the two opposing bastion towers have loopholes for muskets. The stables of 1734 which stand to the west of the barracks, were built to house 28 horses for dragoons and in August 1745 some 200 Jacobites tried to capture Ruthven but were fought off. In February 1746 the barracks were burnt and never repaired, after the government garrison surrendered, when the returning Jacobite army equipped with artillery arrived. On the day after the Battle of Culloden, the barracks were the rallying point for some of the defeated Jacobite army of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, who intended to fighting on. However it was here that they received the order from the Prince to disperse, saying that each man should save himself as best he could. 24 miles north-east at Balliemore is Castle Roy and 30 miles south at Old Struan is Tom an Tigh Mhoir.


Street Map

Ruthven Barracks is located south of Kingussie, off the B970. 40 miles south of Inverness, on the A9.

The site is owned by Historic Scotland and is freely accessible in daylight hours.

There is a car park.


Ruthven Barracks pictures and large castle map
Ruthven Barracks Picture 1Ruthven Barracks Picture 2Ruthven Barracks Picture 3Castle Map of the Area

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