|Scottish Gaelic: Inbhir Aora|
Inveraray shown within Scotland
|OS grid reference|
|Council area||Argyll and Bute|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|List of places: UK • Scotland •|
Inveraray (Inbhir Aora in Gaelic) is a town Royal Burgh in Argyll and Bute, Scotland, located on the western shore of Loch Fyne near its head, and on the A83 road. It is the traditional county town of Argyll and ancestral home to the Duke of Argyll. In 1744 the third Duke of Argyll decided to demolish the existing castle and start from scratch with a new building. The castle was 40 years in construction, and the work was largely supervised by the Adam family, still renowned to this day as gifted architects and designers. The end product was not a castle in the traditional sense, but a classic Georgian mansion house on a grand scale, Inveraray Castle. Over the years the castle has played host to numerous luminaries; Queen Victoria visited it in 1847, and the Royal connection was further cemented when her daughter, Princess Louise, married the heir to the Campbell chieftainship, the Marquis of Lorne, in 1875, illustrating the elevated position of the Argyll family in the social pecking order of the times. The town prior to the reconstruction of the castle was little more than a collection of humble cottages adjacent to the castle site and the Duke wished that the populace be moved to improve the appearance of his home. As early as 1747 William Adam had drawn up plans for the creation of a new Inveraray. By 1770, however, little had been done, and it was the fifth Duke who set about rebuilding the town in its present form. Much of the work on the rebuilt Inveraray was done by John Adam, the Argyll Hotel on Front Street being his, as well as the Town House. Most of the new Inveraray, however, was the creation of Robert Mylne, a celebrated architect of the period. The end product was an attractive town which included houses for estate workers, a woollen mill, and a pier to exploit herring fishing, which was to mushroom in later years to play a major role in the town's economy. The finished product is one of the best examples of an 18th century new town in Scotland, and the vast majority of the properties in the centre of Inveraray are considered worthy of protection because of the town's architectural significance. The celebrated essayist Doctor Johnson, himself no fan of Scotland, was moved to comment on the new Inveraray: 'What I admire here is the total defiance of expense".
Its distinctive white buildings on the loch shore make it photogenic and it is a popular tourist destination, with a number of attractions in addition to the castle. The Georgian Inveraray Jail in the burgh is now a museum. Other attractions include the Argyll Folk Museum at Auchindrain. The Celtic Inveraray Cross can also been seen in the town. The Inverarary Maritime Heritage Museum is based on the iron sailing ship Arctic Penguin, moored at the pier, along with the Clyde puffers VIC 72, Eilean Eisdeal, renamed Vital Spark, and VIC27 Auld Reekie, renamed Maggie. The Bell Tower dominates the town, and contains the second-heaviest ring of ten bells in the world. The bell tower is open to the public, and the bells are rung regularly.
Shinty is a popular local sport, Inveraray Shinty Club being crowned Scottish Champions in 2004. Inveraray and District Pipe band was formed in 2005 after a 70 years gap. In their first competing year, 2006, they won a trophy at every competition. They are now the Grade 2 world champions.
The Town can easily be explored on foot, but a car or bike is useful for sightseeing out of the Town.
There is a small selection of independent shops on the main street.
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