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What Are The Historic Sights Of Inverness

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  • 12-04-2022
What Are The Historic Sights Of Inverness

What are the historic sights of Inverness? We look at the essential historical sites to visit throughout Inverness and the Highlands.

Where To Begin?

Begin your trip with the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, where you'll learn about the history of Inverness and the Highlands from the beginning. Discover how our spectacular environment evolved over 20,000 years ago during the last Ice Age.

Then, go through time using the museum's chronology, learning about the numerous individuals and events that impacted our history. This information is here to help people discover what makes Inverness so popular and prevent people from taking any bad detours while on their trip.

There are a number of good experiences to be had here in Inverness, and based on your reading habits, maybe even some recognisable landmarks too. This guide can recommend you some landmarks to find, discover and visit.

Inverness is the heart of Scotland; it's only right that you should have the chance to enjoy it's contents.

The Moray Firth is one of the greatest places along the English waters to see dolphins and whales. The bottlenose dolphin and harbour porpoise are the most prevalent species, with occasional sightings of the common dolphin and minke whale.

The famed wildlife viewing spot at Chanonry Point features some exceptional dolphin displays in the inner Moray Firth. There are many displays, bridges and converted castles to visit while on your trip that is safe for parking, children and exploring.

There's a wealth of architecture open to the public, ready to be explored, dating back to the 19th century. There are castles such as Dunrobin Castle and Brodie castle and many other hidden gems that are sure to make an excellent trip for the kids.

Bare witness to the many country trails that are sure to make a great day and not leave you lost, or seek out the best places and attractions that are fun for all the family. Many shops, banks, parks and gardens to explore, such as the Highlanders Museum.

Beauly Priory is one of three priories built in Scotland around 1230 for Valliscaulian order monks. 

Inverness City

Inverness city centre is a must-see destination. Step back to discover the vibrant history and interesting civilisation that lies under our roads. Begin your journey by learning about our unique folklore, prophecies, curses, and mythology.

Learn the truth about disobedience, the Jacobites, the Clans, and traditions. Inverness's city centre contains several historical structures and landmarks. A few examples are Inverness Castle, Inverness Cathedral, Inverness Town House, The Victorian Market, Abertarff House, and Falcon Square.

Inverness City - Historic Sights Of Inverness

Surrounding  Areas

The Clava Cairns are one of Scotland's earliest prehistoric sites. An old cemetery complete with burial cairns and standing stones. Culloden Battlefield, Fort George, and the Highlanders' Museum are all worth visiting for those interested in the Jacobite Risings and military history.

Near Inverness, there are numerous Scottish castles, notably Urquhart Castle on the cliffs of Loch Ness and Cawdor Castle in adjacent Nairn. Several local museums investigate various aspects of Scottish history.

Hugh Miller's Birthplace examines the 19th-century geologist's life and career. Celtic and Pictish art is on display in the Groam House Museum. Walkers can summit Craig Phadrig in under an hour. This wooded peak with spectacular views is claimed to be the Pictish King, Bridei mac Maelchon's fort.

A Tour of Historical Sites In Inverness, Scotland:

Inverness Castle

The current structure on the site, which houses the Inverness Sheriff Court, was built in 1836. The hill, however, has been the location of a fortress since 1057, before the Norman invasion of England.

Currently, only the grounds are accessible to the general public. This is also the official start and finish location for the North Coast 500, a long-distance route around Scotland's north.

A Tour of Historical Sites In Inverness, Scotland

Old Gaelic Church

This structure, which is located behind the Old High Church, appears to be another house of worship at first glance. Originally, the Gaelic Church was where Gaelic-speaking worshippers would congregate to give thanks. It does, however, presently contain the extraordinary Leakey's, Scotland's second-largest used bookseller. The shelves upon shelves of books complement the inside of the old church structure, making it appear less austere than the outside suggests.

Old High Church

St. Mary's, the Old High Church, Inverness's oldest edifice still in use as a place of worship, was erected in 1770.

St. Michael's Mount, the little hill near the River Ness on which the church stands, has been a site of devotion for much longer.

The inside of the church is available to tourists on weekdays throughout the summer.

Old High Church

Dunbar’s Hospital Building

The Old Gaelic Church lies on the other side of the road from Dunbar's Hospital, one of Inverness's oldest surviving institutions. This structure, built-in 1668 using stones from Cromwell's Fort, was initially used as an almshouse for the ill and needy before becoming a grammar school from 1687 until 1792. Currently, it is a combination of single-family residences and a shop.

Abertarff House

Built-in 1583, this is Inverness's oldest house. Originally built as the townhouse of the legendary Frasers of Lovat, the structure is an excellent example of crow-stepped gables, also known locally as "corbie-steps," after the Scots word for crow, corbie.

The construction was reconstructed in the 1960s and presently serves as an office building.

Outside, there is a well-known bench where you may rest your feet after a day of seeing the city.

Abertarff House

Blackfriar's Abbey

When roaming about a historic city, you may come upon hints of the past that are buried in plain sight. One of these is Friar's Street in Inverness. Apart from an octagonal column and an antique figure of a knight, both of which are now located in a graveyard that is thought to contain the archaeological remnants of the friary as well as many tombs. 

Clava Cairns

Fans of Outlander will recognise this location, which is only seven miles from Inverness. This is one of the leading candidates for the location of Craigh na Dun, the standing stones where Claire falls into the past.

It is, in fact, a 4,000-year-old Bronze Age cemetery complex with exceptionally well-preserved burial cairns (mounds).

Over time, the site was repurposed, with new tombs and cairns erected. Before being incorporated into the constructions, certain stones were cut with cup and ring symbols.

Bulnuaran of Clava's sacred burial ground, commonly known as the Clava Cairns, is located in Culloden, east of Inverness, in a wonderful woodland environment.

Clava Cairns

Explore the ruins of an ancient cemetery, including passage burials, ring cairns, kerb cairns, standing stones, and burial monuments. 

Two chambered cairns and ring cairns, each enclosed by a stone circle, may be found in Balnuaran of Clava. The location has given its name to two types of cairns seen in and around Inverness.

Craig Phadrig

Craig Phadrig, which is visible from much of Inverness, is the most likely candidate for the initial location of King Brude's settlement. It's a great walk through the woods with beautiful views. 

Little remains of the original Iron Age hillfort constructed here, except some lumps and bumps at the hill's peak, but it's worth the visit to stare out across the Beauly Firth and to the mountains, picturing what life must have been like living on this hill 1500 years ago.

Hugh Miller’s Cottage

Hugh Miller's old house is just a short drive north of Inverness. He was a 19th-century geologist, folklorist, novelist, and all-around polymath.

The home is managed by the National Trust for Scotland and preserves many of Miller's things, providing an insight into life in Scotland during the early Victorian era.

There is a museum connected to the Georgian Villa, and the cobblestone courtyard and little garden are quiet and calm places to linger.

Hugh Miller’s Cottage

Culloden Battlefield

This is one of the rare locations in the world where you may visit a historical site. The loss of the Jacobite army and Bonnie Prince Charlie in the 1746 fight transformed Scotland and, therefore, the British Empire and the rest of the globe. 

This was the final pitched battle fought on British soil, and it was immediately followed by a ferocious assault on Highland culture, signalling the end of a centuries-old way of life. There's also Cawdor Castle, that's oldest stones were most likely erected before 1454; however, that is the earliest date linked with the castle. 

The authorisation to fortify the place was granted to William Calder, 6th Thane of Calder (later spelt Cawdor) at that time.

Like many Scottish and English castles, Cawdor Castle is filled with portraits and tapestries, ancient furniture, exquisite china, and extravagant, even ludicrous displays of weapons and other weaponry. 

Buildings like this and many others are open to plenty of indoor and outdoor exhibits today.

Fort George

Fort George is Britain's most powerful artillery fortress. Following Bonnie Prince Charlie's loss at Culloden in 1746, George II built the final defence against subsequent Jacobite insurrection.

Fort George, as a result, is the most powerful artillery fortification in Britain, if not Europe. Its garrison buildings, cannon-filled artillery defences, and a fine collection of armaments - including bayoneted muskets, pikes, swords, and ammo pouches - give a unique glimpse into 18th-century military life.

Fort George

Inverness Town House

Inverness Town House is a municipal structure on Inverness's High Street in Scotland. The town hall served as the Inverness Burgh Council's headquarters. The design was inspired by The McManus, a Dundee art gallery and museum built by George Gilbert Scott and completed in 1867.

Wardlaw Mausoleum

Wardlaw Tomb is the Lovat Frasers' 17th-century mausoleum. Its residents include the 'Old Fox' of the Jacobite Rebellion, Simon Lord Lovat. 

Pilgrim Cottage is exclusively accessible by request. Please contact ahead to ensure that someone is available for a tour.

Wardlaw Mausoleum

Dr Black's Memorial Hall

Dr Blacks Memorial Hall in Inverness is a detailed example of a Queen Anne style church meeting hall. The main elevation is remarkable for its fenestration arrangement, which includes enormous multiple-pane windows and a wide double-leaf, panelled timber entry door with a carved canopy. The modest interior is intact, with ornamental details and a main hall on the first level. 

The structure, which is located on Bank Street and faces the great stretch of the River Ness, adds to the historical and architectural importance of the cityscape. 

Macbeth and Ross were two of the most well-known Highland architectural firms in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. 

From 1887 through late 1907, Robert Macbeth (1857-1912) was Alexander Ross's partner. Dr Black's Memorial Hall was one of the practice's final projects.

In August 1907, a casket holding Dr Black's papers and other artefacts, including a collection of King Edward VII coins and an Inverness guidebook, was put in the foundation stone.

Highland Railway Company 1914-1919 Memorial

In the Highlands, there are well over 200 memorials devoted to the remembrance of those who perished during World War I. Celtic crosses, obelisks, and metal or stone sculptures of soldiers are examples.

A cairn at Muir of Ord, clock towers at Brora and Helmsdale, stained glass windows at Fort Augustus Abbey School, and a bronze sculpture of three individuals at Glenelg are among the most remarkable monuments.

There are also tributes to private persons, most of whom come from affluent families, and they are frequently seen in churches.

Some schools, such as the one in Portree, and bigger enterprises, such as the Post Office and the Highland Railway Company, erected memorials to former students who perished.

Highland Railway Company 1914-1919 Memorial

Some memorials show the years 1914-1918, indicating the conclusion of hostilities, while others bear the dates 1914-1919, indicating the signing of the peace accords. Many Highland monuments, particularly those with carved figures, face south-east, in the direction of the battle in Europe.

Market Cross

A wonderful market cross in Inverness's High Street, easy to discover and worth looking at and walking around if you're in the neighbourhood. The Mercat Cross has long been associated with the trade rituals of Scottish market towns and villages dating back to the 16th century. 

Boleskine House

The famed eighteenth-century estate Boleskine House, the previous home of Scottish MP Archibald Campbell Fraser, esotericist and occultist Aleister Crowley, and rock and roll star Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin fame, is now available to the public as a historical landmark for the first time in its history.

The home has been damaged by two fires in recent years and is presently being repaired by The Boleskine House Foundation, a registered charity in the United Kingdom.

All donations and tour fees go towards renovating this lovely home. 

Boleskine House - Historic Sights Of Inverness

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