You can’t miss the big red boards around Inverness Castle at the moment. On closer inspection you’ll see the boards show some of the fascinating history of the castle. The reason for the boards is to close the castle buildings to the general public whilst Inverness Castle gets some dramatic changes. Access to the grounds is still available, so you can still enjoy the terrific views of the riverside and take a snap of Flora MacDonald.
Until recently Inverness Castle was the home of Inverness law courts. So unless you want to enter the building in handcuffs it’s not open to the general public. Now that the law courts are rehomed, the new plan is to develop the building into a stunning tourist destination. The first phase of the development sees the castle transform into an attraction for visitors and locals. The refurbished castle offers an insight into the fascinating history of Inverness and the Scottish Highlands. The landscape, culture and language will feature heavily. With a history as a court and prison, there are many intriguing spaces and stories to explore. As well as learning, the castle’s raised position overlooking the town will provide areas for eating, drinking shopping and taking in the stunning views. The grounds of the castle are to form an outdoor space to be enjoyed throughout the year.
Storytelling in the Highlands
Storytelling is a great Highland tradition and will feature heavily. Inverness Castle and grounds will celebrate the Spirit of the Highlands in 100 stories, which will capture the essence of the unique history of the area. The project aims to create an ‘Autobiography of the Highlands’. As a result we will have a digital archive built from a collection of stories all told by the people who live, work and visit here.
Inverness Castle Then and Now
Inverness Castle is currently 2 separate buildings. The first of those dates from 1830s and was the a courthouse. The second was built as a prison in the 1840s. This is the same site the original medieval castle. With a long and tempestuous history, the previous castle was set ablaze several times and endured many sieges. The castle was finally destroyed by the Jacobites prior to the Battle of Culloden in 1746. You can find out more about the history of the area and your Scottish roots at the Highland Archive Centre.
In the future a new glass building will link the two towers, providing a wonderful light space with views to the riverside. This public space will be a perfect location to take in Inverness and plan your day from here.
Work has started now on the development with a tentative opening date of the first phase around late 2022. In the meantime there are still many sights to see in and around Inverness. The surrounding grounds are open including the famous statue of Flora MacDonald. The boards around the castle are really interesting and worth a read. For anyone travelling the Great Glen Way the castle is a welcome sight. There’s a stone marking the end of the journey from Fort William to Inverness.
Book your next Inverness stay at Bannerman Bed and Breakfast. This is the perfect base for taking in the sights of Inverness and the surrounding Scottish Highlands.