For as long as I can remember, the functional rather than pretty bus station in Inverness has been called Farraline Park, although confusingly the street address for the bus station is actually Margaret Street. The white concrete building to the left is (and always was in my memory) the Rose Street multi-storey car-park, and the old stone building along the back was first built as a school (known as Bell’s Institution) in 1841, with the original school playground area out front now laid out as several bus station stances.
I’d never really thought about it before, but I had absolutely no idea what the name ‘Farraline Park’ actually refers to – so I’ve been searching online and found an old map from 1874 showing the old school building itself and its grounds clearly marked as ‘Farraline Park Institution’ so I guess that’s my answer… I’d normally go to check it out at the local library but as with everything else, the library is closed for the time being and Google is being surprisingly elusive on the subject…
Actually, just before I left school in 1981 I remember the public library being housed in that building for a while before it moved to its current location. And I understand that before housing the library, it was used as a temporary Police Headquarters in the late 1960s and through the 1970s while new premises were being built. No idea of its current use, if any. Hmmm… Definitely some local history to be looked up at a later date though.
And I remember directly below the multi-storey car park (incorprated into the stark grey concrete facade at ground level) was located the old registry office, where at the time all births, marriages and deaths were recorded, including my own children’s births, and also that of my eldest grandson – although by the time my other grandchildren came along, thankfully the registry office had moved to its current, much more pleasant situation along by the river. Not exactly the most romantic place for a civil wedding ceremony, underneath a multi-story car-park and next to the bus station! 🙂
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!