Inverness Castle sits high on a rocky cliff overlooking the beautiful River Ness in Inverness, Scotland. The beautifully crafted red sandstone foundation is the product of some very bold and talented architects, who designed the reconstructed building in the 19th century. It was built as part of a justice facility comprising a Sheriff Court, bastioned enclosing walls and a prison , which later became the District Court. Each architect designed one part of the whole: William Burn – the Sheriff Court, Joseph Mitchell – the walls and Thomas Brown – the prison.
This correctional facility was started in 1836 on the site of an old defensive structure, dating back to the 11th Century and on which a number of Castles have been built, destroyed and rebuilt over the intervening centuries. The castles have seen a large part of Scottish history over the centuries. The first castle is said to have been built in 1057 by Malcolm the Third of Scotland and burned down by King Robert the First, more popularly known as Robert The Bruce in the winter of 1306 to 1307. Mary Queen of Scots was refused entry to a rebuilt Inverness Castle in 1562 and supporters took the castle and installed her there.
The Duchess of Inverness was a Duchess in her own right (rather than because of her marriage to a Duke). This is an interesting story relating to Inverness Castle and needs a little background to understand it. Part of the Law of Britain requires all members of the British Royal Family to gain permission from the Sovereign (the King or Queen ruling at the time) before marrying, otherwise the marriage would be considered “Morganatic” or illegal. (This law still applies and is why The Princess Margaret, the now deceased sister of Queen Elizabeth II of England was unable to marry her first love, Group Captain Peter Townsend. Permission was denied at the time because he was divorced. Times have changed and Prince Charles has legally been able to marry Camilla Parker Bowles, a divorced woman, who will become Queen consort when Prince Charles becomes King, after his mother’s death. This law did not apply to King Edward VIII who abdicated because he wanted to marry the twice divorced American, Wallis Simpson. The English Sovereign is head of the Church of England which at that time disapproved of a marriage where a divorced person’s spouse was still alive and this would have created a conflict and could also have led to a constitutional crisis. He abdicated so that he could marry Wallis Simpson. That led to his younger brother becoming King George VI, and his daughter then became Queen Elizabeth II after his death.) OK, now back to Inverness Castle and the Duchess of Inverness.
After the death of her first husband, Lady Cecilia Gore married Prince Augustus Frederick, King George III’s sixth son in 1831. But King George III did not give permission for this marriage, so it was declared unlawful but she and the Prince continued to live together. Lady Cecilia could not take part in any Royal Functions because of this. When Queen Victoria (the niece of Prince Augustus Frederick) came to the throne, she created Lady Cecilia as Duchess of Inverness in her own right, with the right for any legitimate male heirs to succeed to the title after her death. The title of Duchess of Inverness was chosen because this was what was known as a subsidiary title of Prince Augustus Frederick who held the title of Earl of Inverness, as well as the title of Duke of Sussex.
Many historic artifacts surround Inverness castle and can easily be seen by anyone that visits the area, with a special interest in the Battle of Culloden .
Today, the town of Inverness is known for its great attractions and natural scenery. Many tourists and visitors visit Inverness, as it offers them beautiful scenes of natural wildlife and beautiful buildings.
Maisie loves travelling to different parts of the United Kingdom to visit all the beautiful and historic places there. Scotland and the Highlands are very beautiful and Inverness is a gateway to the Scottish Highlands.