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The Moat House Formerly called The Hospice

The Ross self catering in the Moat House in Fort Augustus Abbey

The Ross
2 Bed Sleeps 4

Highland Retreat self catering apartment in the Moat House at Fort Augustus Abbey

Highland Retreat
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Glenmorangie, Moat House apartment in Fort Augustus Abbey

Glenmorangie MH10
1 Bed Sleeps 2


Moat House 7 apartment in Fort Augustus Abbey

Moat House 7
2 Bed Sleeps 4

MH2 Lounge Highland Club Holiday Rental

Majors Apartment MH2
3 bed sleeps 6
Moat House 1 holiday apartment
Moat House 1
2 bed sleeps 6



Moat House4 
2 bed sleeps 2 or 4



The Moat House Fort Augustus AbbeyThis building was used by the monks for hospitality, hence the name “Hospice”. It has no connection with the current use of the word which often describes a home for the sick.

The building is in two parts, the ground floor which dates back to the building of Fort Augustus in 1720 and the upper floors which date to the nineteenth century.

To enter we come through a nineteenth century arched passage over the moat. This would have replaced the original fort entrance. During the monastic period 1878 to 1998, it contained a crucifix above the main entrance door. Before the closure of the school in 1993 the heavy entrance door was a barrier to ordinary people and if you came to visit the monks you would ring the bell at this door and wait … sometimes up to five minutes … while a monk made his way from the Monastery building. Then an eye would appear through the small grill in the door and you would be asked your business. If you were permitted entry you were allowed to meet with the monk in the first room on the left in the main Hospice building.

The Cloisters On the ground floor we have some really interesting architecture as this was part of the original Fort Augustus. Above each of the doors leading off the main corridor there are rhomboidal keystones which are the symbol of the Redcoat soldier engineers and this signifies that they built this section. If you drive down the southern road to Inverness, slow down as you cross the bridge at Whitebridge and look across at the original General Wade bridge which is on your right. Again you will see the keystone signifying that the Redcoats built that too, as part of General Wade’s programme of road-building in the Highlands.

The last room on the left, now bricked up, was of the most important historic significance as it had the original floor constructed of special hand made red bricks. These were particularly useful because they would not create a spark when struck by other stones or even metal. This room was the gunpowder magazine. When the war office plans of the fort are examined the room is shown as a Fire Station, but, of course, who would be stupid enough to put the correct use of such a room on a set of plans?

The monks had turned this room into a chapel and there were original nineteenth century frescos on the walls, plus some mid-twentieth century additions. There were also glazed alcoves where the monks kept relics of the saints i.e. a tooth, or finger bone or part of a pelvis etc. These were usually in silver caskets.

On the wall opposite this room is an original and important Roman sculpture of the Capitoline triad - Jupiter, Juno and Minerva. It was brought up from Edinburgh, but little is known about why it should have been mounted in the wall by the monks. It is also a mystery why Historic Scotland have not removed it to a more relevant location.

The upper floors during the last period of the monastic occupation were used as guest accommodation and the fine large room on the first floor was utilised as a meeting room or coffee lounge.

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​Please note: Swimming pool is closed until further notice.

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© 2007 Tony Harmsworth

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