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The grand reopening of Inverness Castle

Date published: 22/8/2023

The Inverness Castle experience

Anyone who has visited Inverness will recognize the structure that is Inverness Castle. Having served various purposes throughout its years, Inverness Castle is currently under reconstruction and remodelling. Now, it is getting ready for its grand reopening in 2025. If you’re wondering what the new and improved Inverness Castle will have to offer – here’s what you need to know.

Dramatic photo of Inverness Castle

The History of Inverness Castle

Since 1057, the site has been home to castles. Malcolm III of Scotland built the first castle. In 1307, the original castle was partially destroyed by King Robert I of Scotland in 1307. And then, in 1428, James I summoned fifty clans to a parley at the castle. This led to many arrests and executions, including those of Alexander, 3rd Lord of the Isles, and his mother. After that, the castle was occupied during the Raid of Ross in 1491.

In 1548, another castle and tower were completed. And the current structure still stands in the same place. The red sandstone displays an early style that is the work of 19th-century architects. William Burn designed the main building. Thomas Brown II designed the north block.

The castle was closed to the public in 2021 for remodelling and restructuring.

Inverness Castle updates

The ongoing work on Inverness Castle is thanks to a £30 million investment. This has come from the Scottish and UK Governments. As well as The Highland Council, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. This money will help to transform the castle from its past use as a prison and a courtroom to a brand-new visitor attraction to bring Gaelic culture to the forefront of the Inverness tourist scene.

The money will be spent on creating a brand-new public roof terrace. And a river view terrace that will allow people to enjoy the sights of the River Ness. Visitors will start their journey into the Inverness Castle grounds through the gardens. Their designs inspired by Gaelic language and culture. Informative installations and featured plants will complement the fabulous views across the river and Inverness.

Two towers

In addition to the gardens, Inverness Castle’s two towers will be impressive too. The South Tower will feature exhibitions created and designed by Mather & Co, which will make use of both in-person guides and ultramodern digital technology. Both techniques will come together with the exhibit to show off the vibrant cruth-tire (vibrant landscape), dualchas (heritage), culture (cultar), and coimhearsnachd (community). The exhibitions will culminate in an incredible, 360-degree immersive Scottish experience.

The two towers of Inverness Castle

The North Tower, on the other hand, will be the new home to the Highland Music Experience and Bar. It will bring Highland music to the ears of tourists and visitors. The opening exhibit at the North Tower will be a homage to Runrig. This is a band that has been popular in the Highlands throughout their 50-year career. A formative member of the band said,

“When we started playing as Runrig in Skye all these years ago, I wouldn’t have imagined we’d reach this 50-year milestone. It’s exciting to be involved with the Inverness Castle Experience, and the new exhibition will mean people who enjoy our music will have a way to come together to share their own memories of their connection with the band over the years.”

That’s not all! The North Tower will have something that the other castles in Inverness do not have – the Tapestry of the Highlands and Islands. A piece of art crafted by those across the communities of the Highlands.

Once the castle is ready, it will open for daytime and nighttime events for tourists and visitors. But, in the meantime, there are other castles near Inverness for tourists to enjoy. Just like Urquhart Castle, Brodie Castle, Dunrobin Castle, Fort George and Eilean Donan Castle.

Eagle Brae is our log cabin village, just a 40-minute drive from Inverness and perfectly situated to visit any of these castles. And, of course, there’s so much to see and do around Eagle Brae. When will you be booking your stay with us?

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