Inverness Castle, Scottish Highlands.

This evening, I am posting information on Inverness Castle which dominates the City of Inverness which in turn is situated close to the Northern tip of Scotland’s Great Glen.

The neo-Norman structure evident today has never witnessed warfare but pays tribute to a long and violent past of a succession of fortifications on the site dating back, possibly, to around the 6th century, viz:

  • A Pictish-era fort may have existed around the 6th century AD.
  • During the mid-11th century King Malcolm III built a fortification on the current site which was rebuilt by King David I (1124-53).
  • At varying times between 1296 and 1303 English garrisons gained control.
  • Retaken by King Robert I in 1306 and slighted.
  • Rebuilt by the Earl of Mar in 1412 following an attack by Lord of the Isles (MacDonalds) in 1410.
  • Further attacks by the MacDonalds in 1455, 1462 and 1491.
  • Stormed by Frasers and Munros in 1562 following refusal by George Gordon to allow Mary, Queen of Scots entry in 1562.
  • Various actions during 1644/5 in context of Wars of the Three Kingdoms.
  • Seized by Royalists in 1649.
  • Cromwell’s forces took control in 1652 who then built a new fort close to the mouth of the River Ness which was completed in 1655. The new fort was dismantled in 1662 following restoration of the monarchy.
  • Reverted to the crown from Huntly family control in 1689.
  • Reinforced following the Jacobite rebellions 1715 and 1719. Renamed Fort George following further defensive work by General Wade post 1724.
  • Occupied by Jacobite forces in 1745/6 who withdrew and slighted the defences.
  • Castle left in ruins until rebuilt 1836-46 for use as a Court House, a function for which the building is still used.

Inverness Castle with River Ness in foreground.