Fort Augustus Abbey history and architecture

Our holiday apartments and cottages are located within the walls and grounds of St Benedict’s Abbey in Fort Augustus. The accommodations are modern and comfortable, yet they retain the character and features of their remarkable setting. Here, we share a brief history of this grand building and its magnificent architecture…

Built on the site of a fort

A military fort stood on this site from 1729, built at the time of the Jacobite Risings in an effort to suppress the rebellion. After it fell into disuse, the site was acquired by the powerful Frasers of Lovat family. Then in 1876, Simon Fraser, 13th Lord Lovat, passed the land to an order of Benedictine monks as the site for a new monastery.

The Benedictine abbey

The monastery was established in 1880, absorbing the remains of the original fort. In 1882 it became an abbey and a large church was added in 1890. A school also operated within the abbey until 1993. The abbey’s impressive Gothic-style architecture features long pointed arches, ribbed vaults, cloisters and tall towers.

Fort Augustus Abbey on a sunny day
The Gothic-style architecture includes towers, turrets and arch windows

Abbey restoration and reopening

In 1998, the site fell empty and abandoned once more. Then in 2003, property developers, The Santon Group, purchased the buildings and grounds and started to transform them with extensive renovation works. In 2012, the site reopened, now containing several one, two and three-bedroom apartments within the main abbey building, and holiday cottages within the grounds. The sensitive restoration of the Grade A listed building kept as many period features as possible.

The kitchen and dining with stunning stone archway in The Dunfermline accommodation at Abbey Holidays Loch Ness
The new apartments work with the original stonework to create unique spaces

Come and stay at Fort Augustus Abbey

So now you can experience this spectacular place for yourself. Book one of our holiday apartments or cottages within the abbey and grounds and enjoy a luxurious holiday in a historic setting. Set on 20 acres of beautiful manicured grounds, there are plenty of onsite facilities available exclusively to guests. These include a heated swimming pool, sauna and steam room, cloister garden and various sports pitches and other activities. Located in the village centre of Fort Augustus, a wealth of activities and attractions are on the doorstep. Explore Loch Ness, the Caledonian Canal and so much more!

The beautiful exterior of The Nave accommodation at Abbey Holidays Loch Ness
Stay in magnificent surroundings on your self-catering break