Inverness Castle and Mary, Queen of Scots

Photo by Moniek Bloks

In 1562, Mary, Queen of Scots visited Inverness Castle – or rather, she tried to. On 9 September, the gates of the castle were closed to her by Alexander Gordon on the order of the 4th Earl of Huntly. Subsequently, Mary’s supporters besieged the castle for three days until it finally fell.

Alexander Gordon was hanged for treason with his head being displayed on the castle. Mary herself stayed at Inverness from 11 until 14 September before moving on to Spynie Palace. “I never saw the Queen merrier – never dismayed; nor never thought I that stomach to be in her that I find. She repented nothing but (when the Lords and others at Inverness came in the morning from the watch) that she was not a man, to know what life it was to lie all night in the fields, or to walk upon the causeway with a jack and a knapsack, a Glowgow buckler, and a broadsword.”1

Photo by Moniek Bloks

The current red sandstone structure was built in 1836 by William Burn, and it now houses the Inverness Sheriff Court. It is not open to the public, but you can go inside the north tower of the castle, which has a viewpoint at the top.

  1. Life of Mary Queen of Scots, Volume 1
    By Agnes Strickland

About Moniek Bloks 2734 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.


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