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Top Historic Events in Lochaber

Visit Fort William is working towards providing some interesting historical events to this website

The Definitive Dozen Historical Events about Fort William

1645 The Second Battle of Inverlochy
Montrose’s army after a sustained overnight March takes Campbell forces by surprise and routs the Duke of Argyll’s army.
1654 The Building of the First Fort      
General Monk, Cromwell’s emissary sailed into Loch Linnhe and built a timber palisade, “The Fort of Inverlochy” to accommodate 250 troops. He anticipated his mission to check the Highland Clans (especially the Cameron’s) would not be brief and took provisions for two years. About 1690 the Fort was renamed “Fort William”.
1692 Massacre of Glencoe
The final papers authorising the “Massacre of Glencoe” were signed in the Fort and sent a detachment of troops to the McIains of Glencoe. After receiving their hospitality the soldiers turned on them in the early hours of a snow bound winters night, killing men, women and children. The wood panelled room in which the papers were signed is now reconstructed in the West Highland Museum.

1722 Discovery of a new Element - Strontium  
Lead mine opened at Strontian. A new mineral Strontianite was discovered in the mine and isolated by Sir Humphrey Davy in 1808 when he named it Strontium, after the village near where it was mined.
1745 The ’45 Jacobite Uprising           
Charles Edward Stewart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) raises his Standard at Glenfinnan and takes his Jacobite army to Edinburgh, Carlisle and then on to Derby in an attempt to take back the British Throne for the Stewarts. Fort William sieged in 1746 and the Jacobites later defeated at Culloden

1752 The Appin Murder
The Murder of Colin Campbell of Glenure and the subsequent hanging of the innocent James of the Glen has been the historical basis for RLS’s Kidnapped.

1803 The Caledonian CanalFirst boats pass through the 62 mile long Caledonian Canal in 1822, after 19 years Construction, thus linking the Moray Firth with Loch Linnhe.

1825 Long John” MacDonald’s distillery
Started by an exceptionally tall MacDonald, the distillery now produces the fine Ben Nevis Whisky. Link to Ben Nevis Distillery Visitor Centre. Free dram!

1883  Ben Nevis Observatory
Clement Wragge climbed Ben Nevis almost daily for two years to make meteorological recordings and establish a need for an Observatory on the Summit which was open until 1905.

1894 The West Highland Railway
Five years in construction this line has been named one of the worlds most scenic railways.

1931 The British Aluminium Factory
The high local rainfall encouraged this major industry to be constructed in Fort William where the furnaces are powered by a hydro scheme carrying water 15 tunnelled miles from Loch Treig to the factory’s power house. It was the longest in the world at the time.

1964 The Scottish Pulp and Paper Mill
The availability of Water and wood locally brought the second large industry to Lochaber, bringing hundreds of workers to the town.

Explore these featured listings

The Lochy Bar & Restaurant Fort William
The Lochy Bar and Restaurant is extremely popular with locals and visitors. We are located on the edge of Caol village and near Banavie, by the Caledonian Canal - perfect for visiting yachts and visitors staying in the area. Our family restaurant offers good value, wholesome food with a tasty menu to suit most tastes. We have easy parking and an outside area with picnic tables when the weather is good. If you are looking for a nice evening with some good, traditional food, come on in and give us a try ! Our staff are great and guarantee a welcome smile and good customer service. We are now stocking cask ales during the summer months. VIEW OUR TASTY MENU  What some of our customers say: “We've been here before about 9yrs ago but didn't know if it had changed, it's a proper pub hurrah,the food was reasonably priced and very tasty, the Mongolian Curry was excellent, I mean really very good, and the bar is dog friendly, all in all a very good experience.” “Stopped here after walking on the Caledonian Canal with our dog. Staff very friendly and provided water and biscuit for the dog. Our lunch was lovely - food was nicely cooked and presented and service was efficient- a really pleasant stop on a nice summer day. Thanks to all!” “Despite being a busy Friday night service was very friendly and food arrived quickly. Very tasty and good portion sizes. Good atmosphere and friendly staff. Will certainly return when in the area again.” Click for MORE TRIP ADVISOR REVIEWS: VISIT US ON FACEBOOK
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Loch Leven Hotel and Distillery
Loch Leven Hotel and Distillery, at the foot of mighty Glencoe, is a historic ferry Inn dating back to the time of Bonnie Prince Charlie. This award winning family-run establishment has been converted to a quirky and comfortable Highland Hotel, providing an intimate setting and personalised service to all their guests. Loch Leven hotel enjoyed an enviable location by the loch, surrounded by dramatic mountain views. The stylish Loch View Restaurant offers guests a slightly more formal option for dining whilst The Old Ferry Bar offers meals in a less formal dining area as well as on the outside terrace. The bar stocks over 60 Single Malts, more than 50 Gins and offers a creative cocktail list. Loch Leven Hotel's Old Ferry Bar has been titled as the 'Best Bar' in the Highlands for 3 years in a row at the Scottish Hotel Awards (2016, 2017 & 2018)! Their own distillery produces premium Highland spirits, their best known product being Devil's Staircase Highland Spiced Gin, named after the famous landmark on the West Highland Way. The distillery also offers 4 hour Gin School experiences where you can make your own unique bottle of gin! The restaurant and bar serves the best local seasonal produce, carefully prepared and executed with flair. Dishes on the menu might include local seafood such as scallops or langoustines and local meats & game. The 12 comfortable en-suite bedrooms offer a cosy place to relax and unwind and most of the rooms have loch views. Being located in "The Outdoor Capital of the UK", guests can also enjoy a wide variety of things to see and do from walking and climbing to golf, watersports and skiing. Dogs are also welcome in the bar and bar dining area!
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