Inverness was designated a city in the millennium year 2000. However, settlements in the area date back several thousand years and can be seen at sites such as Clava Cairns a few miles from Inverness, a place definitely worth a visit and Craig Phadrig, an Iron Age hill fort nearby, from which there are splendid views of Inverness.
Thought to be the Pictish capital in the 6th century, the city became a trade centre for fish, wool and furs. There have been finds of Pictish artefacts and jewellery in the area around Inverness and some carved stones featuring animal designs. Visit Inverness Museum to view some of these.
Inverness was made a royal burgh in 1050. The first castle in Inverness, on the site of the present Victorian castle, was in the 12th century and over the centuries was replaced by newer versions. The present castle is used as a courthouse and there are excellent views from the hill on which the castle stands.
The oldest building in Inverness is Abertarff House, built in 1593 and now occupied by a craft shop and small tea room. At the end of the street on the same side is the Old Gaelic Church, built in 1649 and then rebuilt in 1792 when it became Greyfriars Free Church. It now houses a second hand bookshop and café. On the other side of the street is Dunbar’s Hospital, built in 1668 as a hospital for the poor before becoming the Grammar School until 1792. It currently is occupied by, amongst other things, a shop selling Scottish pottery, jewellery and other items.
For events and happenings around the Highland Capital the Inverness Festival website puts you in the picture
Inverness has an ever-increasing number of restaurants, pubs and cafes offering food from around the globe – Chinese, Indian, French, Italian, Mexican, Irish etc. and even Scottish, while the new Eastgate shopping development houses many multiple chain shops. The older part of the town is where the smaller, individually owned shops are to be found.
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