By far the largest buildings in the area, Bernera Barracks is one of four such structures built in Scotland during the early 1700’s by the Hanovarian Government to suppress the Jacobites. The other three barracks are at Kiliwhimen at the western end of Loch Ness, at Ruthven in Badenoch and at Inversnaid near Ben Lomond.
Bernera was built to house a garrison of up to 200 soldiers and is strategically located to control the crossing at Kylerhea. The officers did not live in the barracks but were accommodated in a row of buildings, which still exist but are now private houses, located opposite the Glenelg shop and known locally as the Officers Quarters.
Construction started in 1720, a year after the (local) battle of Glenshiel and was completed in 1725. Some of the material used to build the barracks was taken from the Brochs in Glen Beag. The twin blocks are four storeys high and are generally regarded as the finest of the four built.
By 1800, rooms in the barracks were available to rent at one pound per year. By 1830 the barracks had become a poor house for the local area and thereafter the buildings fell into their present ruinous condition. In the 1990's, plans were lodged to renovate the buildings but at present they remain in a somewhat dangerous condition and are now fenced off for the safety of the public.
A little known legacy of the barracks, is the military road constructed over the Mam Ratagan to Glen Shiel, parts of which are still in use today.
Location: 57.2163; -5.6197