Time: 20-30 min
Ruthven Barracks in Kingussie is a free well preserved ruin, that you can easily visit if you are in the area. It can even be combined with a hike in the beautiful Scottish Highlands in Cairngorm National Park.
Ruthven Barracks is the best preserved of the four barracks built in 1719 by George II’s government after the 1715 Jacobite (political movement) rising. It could hold two companies (120 soldiers and their officers). They were housed in two piles of three-storey barracks with a parade ground between them. Each pile had six rooms, with men sleeping 10 to a room and two to a bed. The barracks and enclosing walls were built with loopholes for musket firing, and bastion towers were built at opposite corners. Destroyed by Jacobites following their retreat after the Battle of Culloden in 1746, the Barracks ruins are maintained as a monument.
It wasn’t until 1745 the Barracks was attacked during the second Jacobite rising.
In late August 300 Jacobites besieged the barracks, but were held off by the 12 redcoats inside. Just one of the barracks’ troops died, ‘by foolishly holding his head high over the parapet’, according to his sergeant.
The Jacobites returned in February the year after, this time with heavy guns. The garrison soon surrendered to Gordon of Glenbuchat’s men.