MHG3848 - Queen Mary's House, Bridge Street, Inverness


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Type and Period (1)

  • HOUSE (Undated)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

The Inverness Courier of January 25th 2008 reports that 'Mary Queen of Scots visited Inverness in 1562 but due to the political situation she was refused access to the town's castle. While her army laid siege to the castle, she is said to have found shelter in the house, near the River Ness. The Queen had been refused admission to her castle by Alexander Gordon, the Earl of Huntly's lieutenant-governor. With the help of the MacKintoshes and Frasers, the castle was taken and Gordon hanged. The first and second floors were altered by Wiliam Inglis of Kingsmills in 1787 though the one-and-a-half metre thick ground floor walls were retained. From the late 18th century the building was occupied by wine and spirit merchants Fraser Wilson and Co. The building was demolished in 1968 to make way for the offices of the Highlands & Islands Development Board. The vaults of the old house were incorporated into the entrance hall of the new building'. <1>

The vaults of Queen Mary's House still exist and form part of the reception area of the Highland and Island Development Board offices in Bridge House, Bridge Street.
Information from A K Kilpatrick to RCAHMS 8 Feburary 1991.

This house has been demolished.
Visited by OS surveyor 5 April 1969.

This house, of unpretentious appearance, has been extensively modernised. The walls are now harled and externally reveal no architectural features of any great age.
Visited by OS (W D J) 1 April 1960

This house has been greatly altered and only the cellars testify to antiquity.
Inverness Official Guide 1957

(NH 66594520) Queen Mary's House, near the foot of Bridge Steet, remains. There is every reason to believe the actual dwelling in which the Queen took up her residence when refused permission to the Castle above in 1552. The walls of its vaults are some five feet thick, but the turnpike stair on its Bridge Street front was removed many years ago
G Eyre-Todd 1923; C Fraser-Mackintosh 1913.

NH64NE 16 6659 4520.

Contained in Inverness Museum's archives is a file marked 'Stoneware Jug, Queen Mary's House, Inverness'. An object report, sketches and old museum label describe a large stoneware jug consisting of joined sherds (some missing). It has a light grey fabric with an off-white interior, rouletted band around the rim and shoulder and a horizontally ribbed body. The external glaze is midbrown to purple, with a large area missing on one side. It is of a type manufactured in Langerwehe, in the Rhineland, during the late 14th to early 15th centuries. Rhenish stonewares were of a very high quality compared to other pottery manufacted in Europe so they were in high demand. Examples have been found in many parts of Scotland, with this jug one of the best examples recorded (as of 1989) in Scotland. It is listed under Acc. No. 1990.096. <2> <3>

Sources/Archives (6)



Grid reference Centred NH 6658 4520 (20m by 20m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH64NE
Geographical Area INVERNESS

Finds (1)

  • JUG (Medieval - 1058 AD to 1559 AD)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

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External Links (1)

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