MHG14190 - Inverness Library - Margaret Street, Inverness


The former Farraline Park School, also known as Dr. Bell's Institution, the building is now in use as the Inverness Public Library.

Type and Period (2)

  • SCHOOL (In use, 19th Century to 20th Century - 1841 AD to 1937 AD)
  • LIBRARY (Converted, 20th Century to Unknown - 1980 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

The former Farraline Park School, also known as Dr. Bell's Institution, the building is now in use as the Inverness Public Library.

Former Farraline Park School, Margaret Street, Inverness.
HMB (SDD): 1985 BSAHI List, Inverness

"That building you observe in course of erection in Farraline Park is Dr. Bell's Institution. The beautiful Grecian portico with magnificently carved laurel wreaths is from designs by the Clerk of Works, Mr. Henry Burrell. Mr. John Hendrie is foreman mason. The school bids fair to be a great acquisition to the educational interests of the town. The magnifcent stretch of ground at the back and front of the building cannot fail to be amply appreciated as a recreation ground by scholars." <1>

The building was listed at Category A in 1981.

The school was opened in 1841, though the idea of a school had begun in 1831, as Bells’ Institution after gift of £10,000 and continued in use until 1937. The school being built on a field formerly owned by the Town Council. A note in the Inverness Courier newspaper of 1837 notes the sale of the field by public roup by the Town Council with a feu-duty of £50 but was unsold. The site was acquired for the school in 1839. <2>

Beyond the car park and bus station is Farraline Park, the best classical building in Inverness originally built as Bell's Institution in 1841 - William Robertson, Architect, this is excellent Greek Revival architecture with a wide central pedimented portico and Doric columns in Moray sandstone. During buuildimng in 1840, workmen dug up, at a depth of 600mm (2ft), nine complete skeletons, the remains being irregularly laid out: although exact dating is doubtful, these may represent persons killed during an attack on the burgh's nearby palisaded defences. Farraline ceased to be a school in 1937, being converted in 1980 to form the Public Library. Behind the building stood, until demolition in the 1950s, the Inverness Reformatory or "Ragged School" built in 1858 (Alexander Ross, Architect). <3>

See also <4>

Photographs of the building were taken by A Taylor in 2010. <5>

GIS spatial data amended in 2018 to buffer the building position as depicted on OS MasterMap. <6>

Sources/Archives (6)



Grid reference Centred NH 6671 4561 (58m by 54m)
Map sheet NH64NE
Geographical Area INVERNESS

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