Old High Church, Inverness

The Old High Church is the oldest church in Inverness, which stands on the banks of the River Ness, on St Michael’s Mount. According to legend, this has been a religious site since the first century, when St Columba preached here. Since then, there have been many church buildings on the site. However, the oldest surviving part of the current structure dates from the 1300s, with most of it built-in 1770. Today, it remains a working church and is open to visitors in the summer.

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INVERNESS WEATHER

Each night the bell rings

Steeped in history and traditions this church captivates the imagination

Church traditions

The bell in the church tower rings nightly, which is a custom that goes back to 1703, when the bell signalled an evening curfew. Introduced to stop people using dangerous lanterns in the street after dark. Although the curfew is long gone, the bell still rings each evening for tradition’s sake.

The church is also the venue for the traditional Kirking of the Council. A 400-year-old event, held annually on the second Sunday in September. The event includes a procession of councillors, youth groups and guests, which parade to and from the Old High Church for a special service.

Outlander connections

The church tower was once used as a prison. And after the Battle of Culloden in 1746, the churchyard was used for the execution of Jacobite prisoners. They were blindfolded and shot, one by one, outside the tower. In fact, musket ball marks are still visible on the tower wall. This dark event is referenced in the third series of Outlander, and the church is mentioned a few times in the books. As such, this has become an Outlander location for fans of the series.

Visiting the Old High Church

The church is located on Church Street in Inverness city centre. It stands on an ancient hill, known as St Michael’s Mount, by the banks of the River Ness. The church is open on weekdays during the summer. Visitors are welcome, and there are volunteer guides on hand to show you around. Please see the church website for more visitor information and opening times.

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Address

Church Street, Inverness IV1 1EY

Telephone

07934 285 924

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