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Ruthven Barracks



  • Writer's pictureElle

Ruthven Barracks

What do you do if there is a storm warning during your #staycation in the Highlands?

How about visiting a site that is quite exposed to the weather, where one night, a game of chess with the devil ended with the death of the lord of the castle and a massive storm?

A place that was once taken by storm during the 1745 Jacobite rebellion and where, after the devastating defeat at the Battle of Culloden on 16 April 1746, Bonnie Prince Charlie gathered his loyal men for one last time, only to let them know that “Every man seek his own safety in the best way he can”.

There are so many stories around the iconic ruins of the Ruthven Barracks, situated on a mound along the A9 just outside of Kingussie.

The barracks that could hold two companies of soldiers were built between 1719 and 1721 on top of the mound of the original medieval castle that was destroyed during the 1689 Jacobite uprising. Before its destruction, the castle was once owned by the notorious Wolf of Badenoch, also known as the “Scottish Attila”. A rather unpleasant yet fascinating character in Scottish history - who died after the said game of chess.

By the way, the announced storm never came and we had stunning “Highland Weather”. We have a saying ‘round this neck of the woods: “There is no bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” And since we’ve been following this mantra ever since we’ve moved to the Highlands, this also means we pack our sunglasses, even if the forecast is slightly different.

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