There has been a castle, perched on the hill in Inverness since the 11th century! That’s over a thousand years – impressive!
 Records show that Malcolm III of Scotland built the first castle but credit also goes to his son David – it’s nice to think it was a family project then.
Like a lot of castles in Scotland, it’s been raised and razed to the ground several times!  It’s been a royal residence, a military garrison and a courthouse.

 There’s been a few ‘celebrities’ visited in the past too:
 Robert the Bruce fancied his chances of occupying the castle during the Scottish Wars of Independence. He did manage to capture it but then destroyed it to prevent it from falling into enemy hands (weird logic!). The Earl of Mar rebuilt the castle in stone, in 1412 (a wise move). It passed onto the Huntly family who finished construction in 1548.
Mary Queen of Scots (who, it must be said, did get around a bit!) turned up at Inverness Castle but wasn’t let in. She didn’t take this well and her supporters laid siege to the castle. She got her foot in the door fairly quickly (a few days later by the sounds of it – must have been near the time to do the big shop!) and hung the Governor for his cheek!

 Oliver Cromwell had a wee stint at occupying the castle in the 17th century. Lasted a decade and brought to an end when the King died.  He had the castle dismantled, leaving only one tower behind (just a wee bit disgruntled maybe?!)
The castle was rebuilt (again) after the first Jacobite rising and used as a garrison.
Now another ‘A’ lister plays a part in the history of the castle… Bonnie Prince Charlie himself.  The castle was a stronghold for the Jacobites during BPC’s campaign to restore the exiled Stuart dynasty to the British throne but their hopes were dashed after the decisive Battle of Culloden in 1746. Following their defeat, the castle was blown up by Government troops (here we go again!).
The castle was rebuilt in the 1830’s, designed by William Burn and still stands to this day!  Until recently the castle was a courthouse – so the only way you could get into the castle was to commit a crime or be called for jury duty!  A new courthouse has now been built in Inverness and the castle is currently going through a complete refurbishment.

An image of Inverness Castle showing the renovation work and the flower beds on the castle hill.

On a more serious note…
Recognising the historical significance of Inverness Castle, the Scottish Government and Highland Council have embarked on an ambitious refurbishment project aimed at revitalising the structure and transforming it into a beacon of cultural heritage. The project seeks to honour the castle’s past while creating a vibrant space that celebrates the culture, language and landscape of the Highlands.
The refurbishment of Inverness Castle extends beyond the walls themselves. The surrounding grounds and public spaces are being thoughtfully designed to welcome locals and tourists alike. With panoramic views of Inverness, the castle’s grounds will provide a serene environment for relaxation, picnics, and gatherings.
Inverness Castle’s history is a testament to the resilience and significance of this iconic Scottish landmark. From its origins as a timber fortress to its role in key historical events, the castle has weathered the storms of time, witnessing the ebb and flow of power and the struggles of a nation. With its recent refurbishment, the castle stands tall once again, inviting visitors to step into the past while embracing the vibrant spirit of Inverness in the present day.
Inverness Castle should be open to the public in 2025.