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Inverness Castle

Inverness Castle (1836)
©2013 Gazetteer for Scotland

Inverness Castle (1836)

Dominating the centre of the city of Inverness, Inverness Castle comprises the larger of two buildings lying on a hill above the right bank of the River Ness. The red sandstone castellated structure evident today was built in 1836 by architect William Burn (1789 - 1870) as the County Hall of Inverness-shire and is today home to the High Court and council offices.

The second building, known as the North Block, also extravagantly castellated in its form, was completed in 1848 as Inverness Jail, but is today used as the Sheriff Court. Between the two buildings is a well that belonged to the mediaeval castle, which was restored in 1909. In front of the castle is a statue of Jacobite heroine Flora MacDonald (1722-90) and her dog, which was erected in 1899. The castle is also the starting point of the Great Glen Way, designated in 2002.

A succession of castles have stood on this site since 1057, the earlier structures most-likely built of timber. The first was partially destroyed by King Robert I. A replacement was sacked once again in the 15th C.. A new stone tower was completed in 1548 by George Gordon, the 4th Earl of Huntly (1514-62), who was Constable of the Castle. This held out against James Graham, the Marquis of Montrose, in 1645. It was extended and reinforced by General George Wade in 1725 following the first Jacobite Rebellion, it was held by General Sir John Cope in 1745 only to fall to the 'Bonnie Prince' the following year, who levelled it using explosive charges.


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