Thursday, September 25, 2008

Just For Fun --Inverness Castle

I want to start a series of posts that demonstrate some historical and geographic treasures of Scotland. I had a blogger friend tell me in a comment recently they were drawn to my blog because they were enthralled by castles. Well, so am I. Tonight I am writing about Inverness Castle. I actually just took this picture of it using a webcam there at a kiltmaker's shop by the name of Highland House of Fraser. It is only 3am in Inverness at this time. I love the play of color in this high resolution photo.
Photobucket I took this information from wikipedia.
Inverness Castle sits on a cliff overlooking the River Ness, in Inverness, Scotland. The red sand stone structure evident today was built in 1836 by architect William Burn. It is built on the site of an 11th century defensive structure.
A succession of castles has stood on this site since 1057.

The castle is said to have been built by Máel Coluim III of Scotland, after he had razed to the ground the castle in which Macbeth of Scotland according to much later tradition, murdered Máel Coluim's father Donnchad I of Scotland, and which stood on a hill around 1 km to the north-east.

The first Inverness Castle was partially destroyed by King Robert I of Scotland and a replacement castle was sacked in the 15th century.

In 1427 King James I of Scotland held a parliament in the castle to which the northern chieftains were summoned, of whom three were executed for asserting an independent sovereignty.
In 1548 another castle with tower was completed by George Gordon, 4th Earl of Huntly (1514-1562). He was constable of the castle until 1562. The castle was later taken by the Clan Munro and Clan Fraser who supported Mary Queen of Scots in 1562.

Inverness Castle 1562, Robert Mor Munro, 15th Baron of Foulis, chief of the Clan Munro was a staunch supporter and faithful friend of Mary Queen of Scots and he consequently was treated favourably by her son James VI. George Buchanan states, that when the unfortunate princess went to Inverness in 1562 and found the gates of the castle shut against her; "as soon as they heard of their sovereign's danger, a great number of the most eminent Scots poured in around her, especially the Frasers and Munros, who were esteemed the most valiant of the clans inhabiting those countries in the north". These two clans took Inverness Castle for the Queen, which had refused her admission. The Queen later hanged the governor, a Gordon who had refused her admission.
In 1715 the Clan MacKay took the side of King George I and defended Inverness Castle against the Jacobites.

In 1725 the Castle was extended and reinforced by General George Wade after the initial early Jacobite Uprisings.

In 1745 when the second major Jacobite Uprisings began Inverness Castle was defended against the Jacobites by an Independent company from the Clan Ross who supported the British government. However soon afterwards when it was held by General Sir John Cope it fell to the Jacobite rebel leader Bonnie Prince Charlie who levelled it using explosive charges.

£50 notes
The castle features on the reverse of the Royal Bank of Scotland £50 note introduced in 2005

For readers of historical scottish romance I find that the surrounding area around Inverness very often plays an important role as so many major clans and historical events are associated with that area. Inverness Castle is definitely on my 'bucket list'!


  1. Someday I hope that I am able to make it up to real Scotland. We did make it to Gretna Green a few years ago when we were staying in Cumbria. I want to breathe the air in the highlands and see just why the first settles were so inspired upon reaching the shores of Nova Scotia to want to name it "New Scotland."

  2. Carolyn - since you love castles, you might enjoy reading "Chateau of Echoes." It's a Christian romance novel (okay, I NEVER read those, but this one was better written). The castle/chateau is in France, of course, not Scotland, but I think you'd enjoy it. Modern day widow buys a chateau and discovers medieval diary of young woman who once lived there...


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