HIDDEN features and new information about Inverness Castle have been revealed during the initial stage of a major project to transform it into a tourist hotspot.
Surveys of a well that sits between the two buildings, and will become part of the interior of a new building which is to link the two towers, revealed that the visible parts of the well are approximately 180-years-old.
The Highland Council said that a false bottom has been in place for some of that 180 years and over the past few decades has collected litter and vegetation. However, the well has now been cleared out of both and has been found to extend 12m deep where it has been filled with stone and rubble in the past.
At the same time, archaeology investigations were carried out to determine what historical evidence of the site’s past life might be hidden below the surface. Former footings of the prison’s airing shelters were found in the north courtyard and a small meeting of artefacts including 19th century pottery, clay pipe fragments, a beautiful (possibly 18th Century) bowl and iron objects were also recovered.
Within the castle building, specialists undertook historic paint investigations – ‘painstakingly’ peeling back the layers of new paint to reveal hidden layers. This has provided more information about how some areas of the building had been decorated at the time of its construction over 180 years ago, including finely painted colour schemes in the grand entrance lobby and principal court room.
Inverness provost, councillor Helen Carmichael, said, “It is fascinating that items are being discovered during the project works. The finds will be added to the rich tapestry of the story and history of Inverness Castle that will be told to future visitors to this major new visitor attraction.”
Project Scotland spoke to the architects behind the project to transform the castle into a ‘gateway for Highland tourism’. To read, click here.