Thomas Telford Corpach Marina

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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.