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'No, we're not restoring Kingussie's barracks to their original state!'


By Tom Ramage

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Scaffolding has gone up around part of Badenoch's historic Ruthven Barracks – but it's not a restoration job, say Historic Environment Scotland.

Scaffolding goes up at Ruthven Barracks
Scaffolding goes up at Ruthven Barracks

The bush telegraphers will be disappointed at that, especially having seen the magnificent 3D models of the original 18th century fort in recent Strathy issues.

Since the models were drawn up of the building which was constructed to house Hanoverian troops during the Jacobite Rebellion, some have dreamed of seeing the entire place restored to its original state.

As they were: Ruthven Barracks, Kingussie, before they were burned out by the Jacobites in 1746 (copyright Bob Marshall)
As they were: Ruthven Barracks, Kingussie, before they were burned out by the Jacobites in 1746 (copyright Bob Marshall)

The building was destroyed by Jacobite forces in 1746.

But lovers of the area's most famous landmark will be delighted to hear that important conservation work is under way.

Digital reconstruction of Ruthven Barracks (c1730) by Bob Marshall
Digital reconstruction of Ruthven Barracks (c1730) by Bob Marshall

One authoritative source told the Strathy that consolidation and repair work had been planned at the north barracks for some time:

"My understanding is that only the outer face of the NE wall is affected – so it shouldn't impact on any projections onto the SW wall.

"Works are scheduled to be finished by the end of June, though that will depend on what an inspection reveals once the scaffolding is up."

A spokesperson for HES confirmed: "We're carrying out conservation works to the north barracks at Ruthven and will be on site for three weeks.

"We can't give a firm start date at the moment, as this is dependent on the lifting of Covid restrictions."

It's understand that all HES properties are closed at the moment except for Skara Brae.

Most of the sites are set to re-open on April 30 and it's hoped that Ruthven Barracks will be among them.


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