National Gazetteer, 1868


Inverness - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868


"INVERNESS, a parish in the N.E. district of the county Inverness, Scotland, containing the county town of Inverness (as above) and several villages. It has a length of 14 miles, and its breadth averages about 2½ miles. It is environed by the firths of Moray and Beauly, by Petty, Daviot, Loch Ness, Urquhart, and Kirkhall. The parish lies nearly wholly within the valley of the Great Glen of Scotland. The hill of Tomnahurich near the town is an attractive feature. The river Ness traverses part of the parish, and receives the waters of several minor streams. This parish gives name to a presbytery in the synod of Moray. Here are three parish churches. The High church and the Gaelic church are in the patronage of the crown and Professor Scott. The ministers have a stipend of £277 each. The West church is in the patronage of the crown. The minister has a stipend of £200. The other places of worship are, three Free churches, two United Presbyterian churches, besides Episcopalian, Methodist, Independent, and Roman Catholic chapels. Besides numerous private establishments, there are the Royal Academy, Bell's schools, the Roman Catholic and Free Church schools, with some others. The principal seats are, Culloden House, Muirtown House, Darochville, Dochfour, and Raigmore houses. There are Druidical remains and several cairns; two of the latter are insulated excepting at low water. On the N.E. of the parish is the famous field of Culloden."

"BALLOCH, a village in the parish and county of Inverness, Scotland, close to Inverness."

"CULCABOCK, a village in the parish and county of Inverness, Scotland, situated about a mile S.E. of the town of Inverness."

"HILTON, a village in the parish and county of Inverness, Scotland, not far from the town of Inverness."

"INVERNESS, a market town, seaport, and royal borough, in the parish of Inverness, being the chief town of the county Inverness, Scotland, 156 miles N.N.W. of Edinburgh, 38 W.S.W. of Elgin, and 19 S.S.W. of Cromarty. It is a station on the Great North of Scotland railway. It is situated at the northern extremity of the Glenmore-nan-Albain, and on either bank of the river Ness, a little above its embouchure into the Moray Firth. A kind of natural terrace runs in rear of the town from near Loch Ness to the Spey, which is the site of numerous villas, and about 2 miles distant rises Craig-Phadric. This town is considered to be the capital of the Highlands. Its streets are well paved and lighted. The portion which stands on the right bank of the Ness is the old town, and is the site of the original village. It consists of the High-street, several other thoroughfares, and a cluster of narrow alleys. The river is crossed by a bridge conducting to the more modem portion of the town, seated on the left bank of the Ness. This portion is well edificed and excellently arranged. Great improvements were wrought in the town by Provost Inglis at the close of the last century, when the paving and sewage schemes were carried out.' The waterworks render an ample supply. The principal public buildings are the castle and gaol at Castle-hill, built in 1835, and the townhall and exchange, erected in 1708. Near the latter are the Northern meeting-rooms, and opposite the townhall is the ancient town cross. In Academy-street stands Inverness Academy, founded by subscription in 1792. It is an excellent institution, and has a museum and extensive pleasure-grounds. There are several other first-class educational establishments, as the Free Church school and Farraline-park school. The old academy, built by bequest of Provost Dunbar in 1668, is now used as a poorhouse. The old gaol had a spire, which still remains. The Established and Gaelic churches stand side by side, near Church-street. The former has a square tower said to have been built by Cromwell. The Free High church and West church are both elegant structures, as are also the Episcopal and Roman Catholic chapels, though of less pretension. The Northern infirmary is an imposing building. Here are the Caledonian bank, branches of the Commercial, National, North of Scotland, Bank of Scotland, and British Linen Company banks, and a savings-bank, several insurance agencies, clerk of the peace office, sheriffs' office, stamp office, horticultural society, customhouse, dispensary, mechanics' institute, and several other public departments. The lower bridge is of wood, and was built in 1855. The suspension or upper bridge took the place of a stone structure which was carried away by a flood, which did much damage, in 1849. There are also two suspension bridges which connect two small islands lying in the Ness with the mainland. This borough was first chartered by William the Lion. A great charter was also obtained in the time of James VI., and the corporation have in their possession a fine collection of records referring to the history of the town. The boundaries of the borough include all the town and a great portion of the suburbs. It is governed by a provost, 4 bailies, a dean of guild, a treasurer, and 14 councillors. Here sit the courts of assize, sheriffs' court, quarter sessions, and justice of peace small-debt courts. It sends one member to parliament in conjunction with Forres, Fortrose, and Nairn. The municipal and parliamentary constituency in 1854 was 532. The population of the parliamentary borough in 1851 was 12,793. The revenue of the corporation was in 1831-32 £1,839, and in 1854-55 £1,577. The manufactures of this town are unimportant. Spinning of linen thread, which was formerly very considerable, is now nearly extinct, as are also the hemp manufacture and the malting trade. The principal manufactures now are, woollen cloth, tanning, sailcloth, ropemaking, and iron and brass founding. About the middle of the last century the trade of Inverness, which had been gradually declining with the foreign ports, began to revive, and in 1803 a brisk commercial intercourse became established between this town and London. There are from 4,000 to 5,000 bolls of oats exported annually from here, though about forty years ago the town was importing the same article to the extent of 8,000 to 10,000 bolls of meal. Its supports are, Cromarty, Burghead, Findhorn, Lossiemo, Portmahomack, Fortrose, Fort-George, Nairn, and Fort-William. The chief commodities exported are, potatoes, grain, sailcloth, woollen goods, ropes, iron, leather, oak bark, whisky, and malt liquor. The imports are chiefly coal, pig iron, wine, hemp, bacon, fish, boots, linen and woollen goods, hardware, &c. Steamers run to Aberdeen, Leith, Glasgow, &c. The Caledonian canal, which starts from here, runs right across the county, affording ready means of water communication. Its wharves admit of large vessels coming alongside. There are three small harbours, but the lowest and largest admits vessels of 250 tons. There is a ferry station at Kessock, with piers, &c., erected by Sir William Fettes. Two agricultural societies hold their meetings in the town. Inverness supports two weekly newspapers, the Inverness Advertiser and the Inverness Courier. Formerly intemperance was indulged in to a fearful extent, but the state of things is now vastly different: the people are polished and educated, the Gaelic language, so generally spoken at the commencement of this century, is now nearly extinct, and the Inverness English is remarkable for the pureness of its pronunciation. The town of Inverness is of very ancient origin. It is supposed to have been a Pictish seat of royalty even in the days of Columba. It appears as a royal burgh in the time of David I. The town was sacked in 1229 by Gillespie M'Scourlane, a Highland chief, who was afterwards executed. From the time of Bruce downwards the town constantly suffered by the frequent descent of the Highlanders. After the revolution the people stubbornly adhered to the Jacobites; and gave considerable trouble before they gave way. During the turbulent times of 1745-46, 36 men were publicly executed. Of the old castle of Inverness no traces remain. According to Shakspeare it was the property of Macbeth, and the scene of Duncan's murder, though that event is generally supposed to have been perpetrated at a spot near Elgin. After the destruction of the castle a royal seat was built on its site, which was visited in 1555 by Queen Mary of Guise, who held a parliament in it. In 1745 it was held by Sir John Cope, and soon after fell into the hands of Prince Charles Edward, who ordered its destruction by gunpowder. The site is now occupied by the county buildings. A large fort was built in 1652 by Cromwell at the mouth of the river, but was shortly after destroyed. The monastic structures which stood about Inverness were demolished to supply material for Cromwell's fort, the only remnant being the chapel-yard in Chapel-street, which was the ancient burial-ground of a Dominican monastery. In Church-street is Lady Drummuir's house, where Charles Stuart and the Duke of Cumberland slept. Queen Mary lodged at the "Lovat Arms." In the vicinity are the demesnes of Muirtown, Culloden House, Daigmore, Darrochville, &c., also Clachenharry rocks and column, Tor-a-Bhean, Ord Hill of Kessock, the Druidical remains of Torbreck and Leys, Culloden field, Kilmorack and Foyers falls, Beauly Vale, the monuments of Clava, Castle Dalcross, Fort-George, and the Roman Bona. The presbytery of Inverness is in the synod of Moray, and contains Daviot, Dores, Inverness, Kiltarlity, Kirkhill, Moy, and Petty. The Free Church district includes the same, with Stratherrick and Strathglass. Tuesday and Friday are market days. Fairs are held on the thud Wednesday in June, the first Wednesday after 11th February and November (old style), last Friday in April and October, second Wednesday and Thursday after 18th July, and first Wednesday after 15th August (old style)."

"MUIRTON, a hamlet in the parish and county of Inverness, Scotland, 2 miles S. W. of Inverness. It is situated on Moray Firth, under Craig Phadric Hill, where Prince Charles and the Duke of Cumberland encamped in the years 1745 and 1746."

"RESAWRIE, a village in the parish of Inverness, county Inverness, Scotland, near Inverness."

"SMITHTOWN OF CULLODEN, a village in the parish and county of Inverness, Scotland, on the eastern border of county Inverness."

Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003