The Abbey in Fort Augustus, for most who come through the original wooden doors, gives memorable holidays. However, for some, it is a place of work and for others, it is simply home. Whatever your reason is for being here, you can certainly be assured you are in a unique environment that has its place in Scottish history with many features left behind from not only the days of the Abbey, but also the days of the Fort dating back to 1729!
During our research into some of the histories of Fort Augustus Abbey, I was very lucky to be given, by one of the few Abbey residents (on a loan basis only!), a small booklet giving a written tour of the Abbey. I thought I was certainly more knowledgeable than many about the nuances of our special home until I began reading this small but very special book.
For example, one section of the booklet takes us into the Refectory; nowadays, this is the Club Lounge. It describes, in great detail, all the fixtures and fittings of the Refectory. Most notable are the stain glass windows, oak panelling and pulpit; all original.
The Monks’ Refectory
Through the entrance door and looking all aound you, you see original oak panelling with linen-moulding wainscoting surrounding the whole room; inspiration for this was alledgedly taken from the oak dado at Magadelen College in Oxford. The walls to your left and straight ahead are most breathtaking with stain glass windows above. These windows depict the armorial bearings of the chief benefactors who helped erect the buildings.
At the top of the hall, you can imagine the Abbot’s table underneath the three Gothic windows. From either end of the Abbot’s table, there were two longer and narrower sets of tables. The side nearer the wall was occupied, while the other side was left unoccupied to allow for serving.
During mealtimes, biblical scriptures were read by a brother standing in the pulpit, which still in existence, is a considerable height from the floor.
The Club Lounge
This is a special room which envelopes you in that magical holiday mood.
Its furnishings now include Anta furniture which is comfortable and stylish with an unmistakeable Scottish feel about it, while the underfloor heating provides that important feeling of cosiness. The full size snooker table certainly puts a smile on many faces, while the 70 megabyte WiFi connection is often a welcome relief.
The small pool table and the traditional games let the kids play while Mums and Dads have their own time. The Anta furniture also gives others the chance to enjoy a drink (BYOB) and a chat with new and old friends.
You can see Highland Club Scotland’s range of properties available for booking by clicking here.
Compelling Nessie Evidence
There may be evidence that Nessie is still swimming around the dark waters of Loch Ness! Afer collecting samples of water and using a new technique, it appears a scientist believes there are some surprising results after the DNA testing has been compared against every known species in the Loch.
All you Nessie spotters perhaps shouldn’t hang up your binoculars just yet…..
You can view an interesting article explaining more detail by clicking here.
There is now room service available – a choice of menu and delivery to your apartment or cottage door!
Pancakes, charcuterie and Scottish Tapas are some of the options for you to enjoy. The food is from local produce and promises the highest levels of service.
Help the Ducks
It’s difficult to see the ducks in and around Fort Augustus Abbey without wanting to give them a bit of food to help them on their way. However, what you feed them may mean your kindness does more harm than good.
Throwing bread for the ducks to feast on can mean giving them an unhealthy diet which they may start to depend upon. Sometimes, the bread that escapes their grasp can become mouldy and rotten. This is potentially very dangerous for ducks to eat. Additionally, if calorie rich food accumulates in the water, it can have detrimental effects. It can trigger algae blooms which deplete oxygen from the water, which in turn robs wildlife of natural food supplies.
Why not pick up a bag of seeds and scatter them instead? This way the ducks are enjoying a healthy diet while holding onto their natural instinct of looking for food. There are many, many other options for feeding the ducks.
For more information on what to feed them, click here.
Glenview, is a top floor apartment in the Old School section and is a three bedroom family home. It represents a perfect family holiday home with original features such as the rose sandstone windows and structural pillars.
The mezzanine bedroom gives a beautiful view across the Caledonian Canal and to the hills of the Great Glen.
Glenview’s owners ensure the apartment has all the equipment and comfort you need to make the most of your stay at Highland Club Scotland.
Considered by many to be the heart of the building, the Old School was made of several classrooms and two large dormitories on the top floor, where you will now find Glenview.
Glenview arched sandstone windows
Also in the Old School building is the clock tower, housing the clock which was loved by many villagers but not so much by visitors; particularly as it would strike every 15 minutes day and night.
The Clock Tower, a most notable feature of the Abbey, is over 100 feet in height. At the top of the clock tower is where you could find the great clock and nine bells.
Walking downstairs and into the heart of the Abbey, you would find to your left the Boys’ Refectory, or eating hall. And then into the Cloister Corridors where you find the Monks’ Refectory and the School Library.
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