This article is about the city of Inverness in Scotland. For other places of the same name, see Inverness (disambiguation).
Inverness Lieutenancy
(Site of city shown in red)
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Inverness (Inbhir Nis in Scottish Gaelic) is the only city in the Scottish Highlands. It lies at the mouth of the River Ness as it flows into the Moray Firth in north-east Scotland. It is from this that the city derives its name; Inbhir Nis is Scots Gaelic for "mouth of the Nis". The river flows from nearby Loch Ness and the Caledonian Canal connects Loch Ness, Loch Oich, and Loch Lochy. Loch Ness is the home of the famous Loch Ness Monster, commonly known as Nessie. The city is the administrative centre for Highland Council, and was formerly the county town of Inverness-shire. The name Inverness is given to the most extensive of the Lieutenancy areas of Scotland.

Buildings in Inverness include Inverness Castle and numerous churches, including St Andrew's Cathedral. However, the oldest church is the Old High Church, on St Michael's Mount by the riverside, a site perhaps used for worship since Celtic times. The castle was built on the site of a previous building in 1835 and is now a Sheriff Court; an older wooden castle was located further east in the 11th century, and may have been the basis for the castle in Shakespeare's Macbeth. St Andrew's Cathedral has a curiously square-topped look to its spires, as funds ran out before they could be completed.

Islands in the River Ness, the Bught and the river banks form a pleasant series of walks, as do the forested hills of Craig Phadraig and Craig Dunain. The city is well served with shops, as it is the main shopping centre for an area of nearly 26,000 sq km.

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St. Andrew's Cathedral on the banks of the River Ness

Inverness was granted city status by the Queen in December 2000, and celebrated its new status officially in March 2001. In 2001, the population of Inverness was 51 000. Tourism is important to the city's economy, as are retailing, administration and healthcare. Most of the traditional industries such as distilling have been replaced by high-tech businesses, including the design and manufacture of diabetes diagnostic kits. The city is also home to the football clubs Inverness Caledonian Thistle F.C. and Clachnacuddin F.C.. Bught Park, located in the centre of Inverness is the Finishing point of the annual Loch Ness marathon.

Inverness is linked to the Black Isle across the Moray Firth by the Kessock Bridge. It has a railway station with services to Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Wick, Thurso, Kyle of Lochalsh and London. Inverness Airport is located 15 km east of the city and has scheduled flights to airports across the U.K. including London, Edinburgh and the islands to the north and west of Scotland.

Culloden Moor lies nearby, and was the site of the Battle of Culloden in 1746, which ended the Jacobite Rising of 1745-1746.

Inverness also serves as somewhat of a Mecca for lovers and players of the bagpipes. Every September the city hosts the Northern Meeting, the most prestigious solo piping competition in the world. The Inverness Cape, a garment worn by pipers in the rain, is actually made by a man in Glasgow.


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River Ness and Inverness Castle

Inverness was one of the chief strongholds of the Picts, and in 565 was visited by Saint Columba with the intention of converting the Pictish king Brude, who is supposed to have resided in the vitrified fort on Craig Phadrig (168 m), 2.4 km west of the city. The castle is said to have been built by Malcolm Canmore, after he had razed to the ground the castle in which Macbeth according to tradition murdered Duncan, and which stood on a hill around 1 km to the north-east.

William the Lion (d. 1214) granted Inverness four charters, by one of which it was created a royal burgh. Of the Dominican abbey founded by Alexander III in 1233 hardly a trace remains. On his way to the Battle of Harlaw in 1411, Donald, Lord of the Isles, harried the city, and sixteen years later James I held a parliament in the castle to which the northern chieftains were summoned, of whom three were executed for asserting an independent sovereignty.

In 1562, during the progress undertaken to suppress Huntly's insurrection, Queen Mary was denied admittance into the castle by the governor, who belonged to the earl's faction, and whom she afterwards therefore caused to be hanged. The house in which she lived meanwhile stands in Bridge Street. The city's Marymass Fair, on the Saturday nearest August 15th, (a tradition revived in 1986) is said to commemorate Queen Mary as well as the Virgin Mary.

Beyond the northern limits of the city Oliver Cromwell built a fort capable of accommodating 1000 men, but with the exception of a portion of the ramparts it was demolished at the Restoration. In 1715 the Jacobites occupied the royal fortress as a barracks. In 1727 the government built the first Fort George here, but in 1746 it surrendered to the Jacobites and they blew it up.

On September 7 1921 the only Cabinet meeting to be held outside London took place in the Town House, when David Lloyd George, on holiday in Gairloch called an emergency meeting to discuss the situation in Ireland. The Inverness Formula composed at this meeting was the basis of the Anglo-Irish Treaty.

Areas of Inverness

Ardness, Ballifeary, Balloch, Beechwood, Bught, Carse, Castle Heather, Charleston, Clachnaharry, Cradlehall, Crown, Culcabock, Culduthel, Culloden, Dalneigh, Drakies, Drummond, Hilton, Holm Mills, Inshes, Kinmylies, Leachkin, Lochardil, Longman, Merkinch, Mile End, Millburn, Milton, Muirtown, Ness Castle, Ness-Side, Raigmore, Scorguie, Seafield, Slackbuie, Smithton, South Kessock, Torvean and Westhill.

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