On New Year's Eve 1997, the little-known town of Ardersier, the nearest settlement to Fort George, had its moment of Hollywood glamour when "National Treasure" Helen Mirren was married to American film director Taylor Hackford in the village's parish church. The reception was held in nearby Castle Stuart. The couple demonstrated an admirable lack of aloofness by inviting 40 local people to the wedding.
Ardersier is a former fishing village located on land which was originally owned by the Knights Templar. The settlement arose following the building of Fort George, which caused the displacement of the village of Blacktown, whose inhabitants were forced to move to what is now Ardersier. At first there were two disparate communities called Stewart-town and Campbell-town, but these were officially combined into Ardersier in the 1970s. Nowadays, it is mainly a commuter town for Inverness, but many tourists pass through due to the proximity of Fort George, which is linked to Ardersier via the Old Military Road, part of a network of roads built by the British Government in the 18th century.
Map of the area.
© 2009 Russel Wills, via Wikimedia Commons