Fort George – Inverness

The “modern” Fort George is a Vauban style fortification to the north of Inverness, but this was built after the Jacobite Rebellion.  In 1746, Fort George was the name given to the old medieval castle guarding the bridge to the south of Inverness.  I decided I needed a Medieval castle to represent this, and explained how I created it in my last post.

The castle reverted to its original name of Inverness Castle after the Jacobite Rebellion and was considerably expanded in the 19th Century.  However I found an old print of it in 1746 and realised that at that time it was mainly a keep plus curtain walls extending out along the banks of the River Ness towards the town.

Inverness - 1

All of the 19th Century extensions were built on the ground in front of the castle from this view.

Here is my model of Inverness town (now city) and castle.

Inverness - 2

The River Ness runs across the foreground crossed by an old stone multi-arch bridge.  My model of the town has a couple of churches, several houses, an inn, butchers, bakers and grocers.  All of these are original or modified Paper Terrain card buildings.  The Fort has its drawbridge lowered.   In the foreground are two additional cottages which I made recently.  I originally had no buildings with thatched roofs, but several of the buildings which came with the Usborne castle did have thatched roofs.  I replaced these with slate tile roofs and used the thatch to create these two cottages.

Here is a close up of Fort George, showing the garrison of two companies (four figures) of 6th Foot, the Ross Independent Company and the Grant Independent Company (the latter two each having three figures).  The garrison is commanded by Major Grant of the 43rd Highlanders (Black Watch).

Inverness - 4

The “D” shaped towers on both sides of the castle have small 6lb guns on garrison carriages, all of the other towers have even smaller ¾ lb swivel guns.  They really only had 16 of these, which I have represented with 8 models.

The Jacobites arrived, commanded by the Duke of Perth, who you can see here on the right of the picture, accompanied by his ADC.  To his left are Camerons and MacGregors commanded by Cameron of Locheil.  You can see that the drawbridge to the fort is now raised and the tiny garrison are manning the ramparts.

Inverness - 5

The Jacobites had just two 4lb, absolutely inadequate for a siege.  I am representing these with one model as set up to the left of the picture below, commanded by Colonel Grante.  Further to the right, sheltered behind the trees, I have shown the gun limber and the remainder of the Jacobite force, MacPhersons and MacDonalds of Keppoch, commanded by Macpherson of Cluny.

Inverness - 6

The Jacobite artillery opened up but made no impression on the fort.

Inverness - 7

The Duke of Perth sent forward some of his pioneers who began to dig into the bank below the tower, with the intention of then placing a mine to bring down that section of wall.

Inverness - 8

The garrison promptly surrendered, much to the disgust of the Duke of Cumberland.  The siege had lasted just two days, but the garrison may not have been very committed, since after the surrender several men from the Independent Companies enlisted into the Jacobite Army .  The Jacobites gained a considerable amount of military stores from the fort and then used Inverness as their de facto capital.

They then moved on to besiege Fort Augustus, which I will cover in my next post.

11 thoughts on “Fort George – Inverness

  1. Peter February 17, 2018 / 4:16 pm

    Great story!


    • Geoff February 18, 2018 / 9:39 am

      That’s very impressive Rod; well done. Particularly like the way you’ve made it capable of damage too. Looks great with the town alongside.


      • rodwargaming February 18, 2018 / 1:32 pm

        Hi Geoff,

        I make all of my buildings with a ruined version under the undamaged one, so I have made some of my Vauban Fortress wall sections and Medieval Castle wall sections as damaged versions. I do the same with small walls as well.

        I first saw this system used by Charles Grant (the author of The War Game) some 50 years ago. Nowadays most of my buildings are card ones by PaperTerrain, who also use that system.



  2. Paul H February 17, 2018 / 5:28 pm

    That´s a really nice set up


  3. Marvin February 18, 2018 / 12:00 pm

    Excellent stuff. The beseiged could have done with a Sergeant Molloy to stiffen resolve.


  4. rodwargaming February 18, 2018 / 1:44 pm

    Hi Marvin,

    Yes, a Sergeant Molloy would have helped, since the Jacobites had no way of breaching the walls with a couple of 4lb cannon. Their solution of mining under the gun turret was viable however, and the garrison could not depress their two 6 lb guns or sixteen 3/4 lb swivel guns sufficiently to deter the Jacobite pioneers. Since the walls were straight the only way they could have fired at those pioneers would have been to lean out over the ramparts and shoot with muskets, but the Jacobites would have been able to fire at anyone doing that from the opposite bank of the River Ness. That is why a Vauban Fortification works, since the adjacent bastions give excellent firing positions to protect the curtain walls and next bastion.



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