History in Structure

Fort Augustus, The Abbey, The Clansman Centre

A Category C Listed Building in Aird and Loch Ness, Highland

More Photos »
Approximate Location Map
Large Map »


Latitude: 57.1448 / 57°8'41"N

Longitude: -4.6801 / 4°40'48"W

OS Eastings: 237942

OS Northings: 809176

OS Grid: NH379091

Mapcode National: GBR G9TV.308

Mapcode Global: WH2FK.2PN2

Plus Code: 9C9Q48V9+WX

Entry Name: Fort Augustus, The Abbey, The Clansman Centre

Listing Name: The Clansman Centre, the Abbey, Fort Augustus

Listing Date: 19 June 2014

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 402332

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB52231

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200402332

Location: Boleskine and Abertarff

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Aird and Loch Ness

Parish: Boleskine And Abertarff

Traditional County: Inverness-shire

Tagged with: Architectural structure Independent museum

Find accommodation in
Fort Augustus


John Rhind, 1878. Single storey, gabled, T-plan, former school with entrance porch and deep overhanging timber eaves, now used as a shop and exhibition centre (2013). Built from rock-faced sandstone, with contrasting ashlar detailing, there is a deep base course and some pointed-arched window openings. The distinctive roof has grey slates with red ridge tiles and there is a central chimney stack. The windows are predominantly timber sash and case.

The interior was seen in 2013. There are two rooms; the larger to the right has some original timber mouldings to the roof.

Statement of Interest

The former 1878 Board School at Fort Augustus was designed by the Inverness architect John Rhind and is situated in a prominent position in the village, on the east side of the Caledonian Canal and close to the former Benedictine Fort Augustus Abbey School. The building has a significant amount of architectural detailing for a small rural school, in particular the rock-faced sandstone with contrasting ashlar margins and the deep overhanging eaves. The building has a number of ecclesiastical motifs including the carved word 'pax' (peace) inscribed above the entrance door, and some pointed-arch windows and these echo the style of the former Fort Augustus Benedictine Monastery and School which lie to the east.

Prior to 1872, education for schoolchildren in Scotland was primarily in local, parish schools, often run by one or other of the church denominations. The quality of teaching was variable, attendance was not compulsory, and parents often required the child to work or could not afford the fees. Education was therefore patchy and illiteracy not unusual. As the population expanded, the churches found it increasingly difficult to maintain the provision of education and the state eventually took over with the Education (Scotland) Act of 1872. This placed the responsibility for education in the hands of local school boards and also made education free and compulsory for children aged five to thirteen. The boards were also responsible for providing adequate school buildings as many of the previous schools had been small and cramped. The new buildings had to have stone walls, slated roofs and boarded timber floors. In the Highlands in particular, this meant much new school building.

Whilst in the towns and cities, large school premises were often needed, in rural areas as here, the system of having one or two rooms was adequate and the school here is typical in size for its community.

The first Edition Ordnance Survey Map of 1874 shows a school in the west of the village. By the 2nd Edition Map of 1900, that school has gone and been replaced by this one and the 1881 census notes that a family of 6 were living in the old school.

The Benedictine monastery at Fort Augustus was built around 1876-1880, designed by Joseph Hanson and Peter Paul Pugin, and incorporating fabric from an earlier, 18th century Fort. Although built around the same time, the school does not seem to have been related to the abbey other that in architectural style. The two buildings had different architects and the smaller school served the children of the town, while the Abbey school was exclusively Roman Catholic. A description of the new Fort Augustus Monastery in the Building News of 1880, quoted in the Dictionary of Scottish Architects (above), makes no mention of the smaller school and therefore it is likely that there is no connection between the two buildings.

John Rhind (1836-1889) was based in Inverness. The practice was very popular and carried out a wide ranging variety of building types, mainly in the Inverness and surrounding area. In 1874 he designed his first school in Moy, and this was followed by around 3 other schools, including this one in 1878.

Listed as part of the Scottish Canals estate review (2013-14).

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.