Inverness through the ages


This page presents a collection of artworks and prints illustrating the castles and bridges of Inverness through the ages. There has been a castle of some kind on the site overlooking the River Ness since the 11th century. It was destroyed by the Jacobites in 1746 and the present sandstone building dates from 1834, with the north block being added in 1847.


Inverness castle in the 1500s.
Detail of the castle from John Slezer’s
view of Inverness in 1693.
Inverness panorama 1693
A copy of Slezer’s Inverness panorama of 1693.
Another copy of John Slezer’s 1693 panorama by Paterson of Edinburgh, specially engraved in 1875 for ‘Invernessiana’ by Charles Fraser-Mackintosh.
Castle and bridge c1700s by John Clerk.
castle_1740s_paul sandby
Inverness Castle in the 1740s by Paul Sandby.
Castle ruins after its destruction
by Jacobites in 1746.

Alexander Hogg 1794
Inverness from the islands in 1794 by Alexander Hogg.
The old bridge in 1809.
castle_1821_william daniell
Inverness from the north end of Culduthel Road in 1821 by William Daniell.

castle_c1839_purser - mottram
Inverness c1839 by W. Purser and C. Mottram.

View from Godsman’s Walk by Thomas Clark in 1823.
Inverness in 1842.
Inverness by A. Ross
Inverness and bridge, looking downriver by A. Ross.

The riverside from Huntly Place in 1853.
Inverness riverside c1840s.
Inverness Castle c1840s by Walmsley.

View from Castle Hill in 1855.
Inverness in 1856, shortly after the suspension
bridge was opened the previous year.
Original sketch by James Brown was
engraved by M.J. Starling.
Edward Whymper 1890
View from Castle Hill in 1890 by Edward Whymper.

The castle from a 1920s promotional booklet.

Norman Wilkinson 1930s
1930s painting of Inverness by the brilliant Norman Wilkinson for a LMS/LNER railway poster.

Castle and bridge from a 1950s promotional booklet.

Some early postcards featured paintings, the most famous being Raphael Tuck’s ‘Oilette’ series.

Inverness from Friars Shott
by F.W Hayes.
Swans on the Ness. (J.B. White)
Ness Walk in 1908
by F.W. Hayes.
View from Castle Hill
by H.B. Wimbush.
The castle and town from Friars Shott in 1933
by H.B. Wimbush.
Inverness High Street by F.W. Hayes.
Statue of Flora MacDonald and Russian cannon overlooking Inverness Cathedral from Castle Hill by F.W. Hayes.
A final view from Castle Hill by F.W Hayes.

Sometimes Inverness is a work of art in itself. This moody photograph dates from April 1931.

8 thoughts on “Inverness through the ages

  1. Absolutely fantastic pictures–so very interesting–thanks. Slainthe–Rosie

  2. A very worthy exercise in reminding us how much that was good but has been lost. I have a very old copy of the 1794 Alexander Hogg print, which I bought for £28 or thereabouts in Edinburgh several years ago, and which I framed and hung in the dining room. I have many old photos on file, some from having compiled Inverness Remembered over the years.

  3. What a most beautiful and interesting collection. Inverness was a most beautiful town/city through the ages. Pity it was all spoiled by the most awful planning decisions in the sixties.

  4. Lovely photos and prints – I agree that it is a shame that so much of our heritage gone – I was involved in the sightseeing tours of Inverness way back in 1993 and part of my winter job was to research Inverness and its history – I wish a sight like this was available then. xx

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