Inverness is one of the finest cities in Scotland and considered to be the capital of the Highlands. It has an impressive castle that remains in use as a working building dispensing justice and therefore whilst there is much to admire from the outside, unfortunately its interior is not open as a visitor attraction.
Located in Inverness in North West Scotland, the castle overlooks the River Ness high above the water and is constructed from red sandstone. The present Inverness castle was built around 1836 by Scottish architect William Burn but the land on which it stands has had a castle for many centuries and records can be traced back to 1057.
The first castle at Inverness was attacked and partially destroyed by King Robert I of Scotland (Robert the Bruce). This was replaced and in the 15th century it was raided by the MacDonald Clan during the siege of Inverness in 1429. The MacDonald’s were from the Highlands and one of Scotland’s largest clans. The castle was once again occupied during the ‘Raid on Ross,’ a battle that took place in 1491 between several Highland clans including the MacDonald’s. Further battles took place through the time of Mary Queen of Scots.
When Mary went to Inverness in 1562 she found the gates of the castle locked against her. Upon hearing this her loyal supporters rallied their troops especially, the Frasers and Munros, the bravest and fiercest of the clans in the north, and they took Inverness Castle for Mary. Ever forgiving, Mary Queen of Scots later had the governor hung for refusing to allow her access – but made it quick.
The castle is a working building and home to the Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Court.
For all its history it is not currently open to the public as a visitor attraction. However, it is hoped that at some future point this may change. The grounds are open but anyone visiting must be aware that this is a working Government building and may be subject to security checks or restrictions especially at certain times.
The castle can be seen from the city below and from along the shores of the river. There is much to see and do in Inverness and it’s most definitely a place rich in Scottish heritage and particularly renowned for the playing of bagpipes.
There are a number of reports of ghosts and hauntings as might be expected of such a building. Shakespeare’s master-play ‘Macbeth’ is said to have been written based on the earlier 11th century castle. Macbeth is said to have murdered King Duncan in the first Inverness Castle and his ghost is said to walk along the riverbank beneath its walls.
Camping and Caravanning Club Site
C1163 (Rd), Delnies Wood, Inverness
Morayshire, Scotland, IV12 5NX
+44 (0)1667 455 281
- Address: Castle Street, Inverness, Inverness-shire, Scotland, UK, IV2 3EG
- GPS: 57.47647222,-4.225497222
- Part of UK: Scotland
- Sat Nav Postcode: IV2 3EG
- Entrance Fees: Access to grounds is free
- Disabled Access: Good
- Visibility from Road: Excellent
- Image Credits: Header Image: Rares Iirimie