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St. Benedict's Abbey
Fort Augustus Abbey - geograph.org.uk - 1708052.jpg
Alternative names Fort Augustus Abbey
General information
Type Benedictine monastery
Town or city Fort Augustus, Inverness-shire
Country Scotland
Coordinates 57°08′42″N 4°40′34″W / 57.145°N 4.676°W / 57.145; -4.676Coordinates: 57°08′42″N 4°40′34″W / 57.145°N 4.676°W / 57.145; -4.676
Construction started 1876
Completed 1880 (1880)

Fort Augustus Abbey, properly St. Benedict's Abbey, at Fort Augustus, Inverness-shire, Scotland, was a Benedictine monastery, from late in the nineteenth century to 1998.

Inception

It owed its inception to the desire of John Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute, for the restoration of monasticism in Scotland. The marquess brought the matter before the superiors of the Anglo-Benedictine Congregation in 1874, promising substantial pecuniary help in the establishment of a house in Scotland, with the understanding that when two other monasteries should have been founded they should all form a separate Scottish congregation. The suggestion was approved of, and the Anglo-Benedictine authorities resolved to incorporate with the Scottish monastery Lamspringe Abbey, in Hanover, which was manned by English monks from 1645 to 1803.

Inadequacy of funds had prevented any lasting restoration of this house, but with the help promised by Lord Bute, it seemed possible to revive it in Scotland. Dom Jerome Vaughan, a brother of Cardinal Vaughan, was appointed to superintend the work, and succeeded in collecting from rich and poor in England, Scotland, and Ireland, sufficient means for the erection of a fine monastery a cost of some £70,000.

The site at Fort Augustus was given by Simon Fraser, 13th Lord Lovat. It comprised the buildings of a dismantled fort, built in 1729 and originally erected for the suppression of Highland Jacobites. It had been purchased from the Government by the Lovat family, in 1867.

The monastic buildings begun in 1876 were completed in 1880, occupying the four sides of a quadrangle about one hundred feet square. In one wing a school for boys of the upper classes was conducted by the monks, with lay masters, for about sixteen years.

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