City of Inverness

Twinned with Ausburg, La Baule and St Valery En Caux

The City of Inverness

For almost two millennia, Inverness has been recognised as an important junction for travellers and an economic centre for traders.

Inverness evolved from an ancient fort to being the Capital of the Scottish Highlands, situated at the mouth of the River Ness which flows from Loch Ness to the Moray Firth. As one of Europe’s fastest growing towns Inverness is the regional and administrative centre for the Highlands of Scotland. It is a vibrant town with excellent travel, retail, leisure and educational facilities and a location for many high-tech and traditional industries.

Inverness has always attracted people from far afield. The city has welcomed Pictish, Celtic and English settlers amongst others and today a cosmopolitan mix of residents and visitors gives Inverness an atmosphere which is unique in the Highlands.

The Inverness area is home to 65,000 people and is growing at an unprecedented rate. As the regional centre for the Highlands of Scotland, it is the administrative hub of an area the size of Belgium.

It is also an award winning city, regularly recognised in the Tourism City of the Year, Britain in Bloom and Beautiful Scotland in the Bloom awards. Indeed, Inverness was recently ranked fifth out of 189 British towns and cities by the Quality of Life Research Group at the University of Strathclyde – and this does not take into account many of the city’s most pleasant attributes including its location at the heart of the Highlands of Scotland.

Click on dates in the timeline for key characters and events in the city’s history.

560 AD

St. Columba of Iona visited the Royal Court of the Pictish King Brude and converted the lord to Christianity on St. Michael’s mound where now stands the Old High Church.

1040 AD

Legend has it that MacBeth – of Shakespeare notoriety – built his stronghold here.

1158 AD

Inverness was established as a Royal Burgh by King David of Scotland.

1307 AD

Robert the Bruce seized the first of the city’s five castles from English forces.

1562 AD

Mary Queen of Scots had the governor of Inverness Castle hanged for refusing her entry.

1746 AD

Bonnie Prince Charlie’s troops were slaughtered at the Battle of Culloden.

1921 AD

Inverness Town Hall hosted the only cabinet meeting of the British government ever held outside London.