has a long military history An airfield to the north, built
during World War II, became the control centre for the
Hebrides rocket range, established during the Cold War and
is now Benbecula Airport. The original South Ford Bridge was
built in 1942 to connect Benbecula's wartime RAF base to the
steamer port at Lochboisdale in South Uist and was replaced
by the current causeway
in 1982. An army base was established here in 1958 and is
one of the main employers on the island as it is the
headquarters for those who service the South Uist missile
testing range. The airport was upgraded during 2001 and
early 2002 in preparation for the Eurofighter Typhoon test
programme. During the tests in April 2002, the £16 billion
aircraft fired an Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile
on the Hebrides test range, the first of this type of
missile to be fired from a Eurofighter.
The ruin of 14th century Caisteal Borbh (Borve Castle) was a
Clanranald stronghold and further north, Nunton House and
the nearby remains of a chapel were also Clanranald
possessions. It was on a return visit to the Clanranald
home on Benbecula, in 1746, that Flora MacDonald agreed to
aid Bonnie Prince Charlie, fugitive since Culloden, with a
price of £30,000 on his head.
named Betty Burke on MacDonald's papers and dressed
accordingly. Despite such precautions, the Government
militia who were patrolling the coast for unusual movements,
saw the boat conveying the Prince and his party from
Benbecula to Skye, and attempted to sink it. They were not
successful which allowed Flora to take her companions into
the custody of Lady MacDonald of Monkstadt, who provided a
nearby cottage for their shelter.
The following day Flora took the Prince to Portree, whence
he sailed to Raasay. The grateful Prince, in parting from
his saviour, gifted her his portrait in a gold locket saying
the words, "I hope, madam, that we may meet in St James'
Flora, who never saw the Prince again, was arrested on her
return to Benbecula and imprisoned in the Tower of London
until the Jacobite amnesty of 1747.