Inverness has had a castle of one sort or another on this site since the 11th Century, but this particular red sandstone version was built in the 19th Century and housed the Sheriff Court for as long as I can remember – this is actually where I did my civic duty by carrying out jury service in a court case many years ago. But a newly built Justice Centre has very recently been opened in a new location on the outskirts of town, leaving the castle building free for development as a tourist attraction into the future.
The statue standing outside the castle is of Flora Macdonald, who during the Jacobite Rebellion helped Charles Edward Stuart (the Young Pretender, the Stuart claim to the British throne) escape back to France after the bloody Jacobite defeat at the Battle of Culloden in April 1746 – so exactly 274 years ago this month.
When I was young I used to hear the romantic stories of Bonnie Prince Charlie getting away ‘under the skirts of a woman’ and I always used to wonder how he ever managed to crawl along curled up between a woman’s legs (literally under her skirts) without anyone noticing – it was only years later I realised it meant he actually dressed up as a maid-servant in order to evade capture… Duh! So now every time I see the statue of Flora Macdonald it makes me smile, remembering my youthful naivety…
Oh, and I’ve also included a close up of the main door in honour of yesterday’s Thursday Doors! 🙂
For this year’s A-Z I’m going to take you on a photographic tour of My Inverness, Past and Present. I grew up in the local area, I went to school here and brought up my three children here, but I moved away to London for 18 years before returning home for good at the end of last summer.
P.S. My initial plan for my A-Z posts has necessarily been curtailed somewhat due to the current coronavirus pandemic, but we’ll get through the alphabet one way or another, however creative my use of subjects may have to be – so thank you for visiting Inverness with me, and I hope you enjoy our trip! 🙂