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Lost Inverness

Birlinn Origin, Local History
Publication Date
07 June 2018
Not Yet Published
Birlinn Limited
b/w throughout

Lost Inverness

by Norman S. Newton - Find out more about the author

In Lost Inverness, Norman S. Newton scours historical and contemporary works to trace the lost architectural history of the capital of the Highlands, following the city’s history from prehistory, through the Dark Ages, the Medieval period, the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th Centuries, to the present day. The medieval town was gutted by our mid-Victorian ancestors, swept away remorselessly in a frenzy of redevelopment, without a trace of sentimentality, creating many fine public buildings in the process. Sadly, the post-war ‘improvements’ in the town centre, especially in the 1960s, have left an embarrassing legacy of architectural blight, but fortunately many interesting old photographs and drawings survive, allowing us to celebrate much of what has been lost. This book draws on the resources of Highland Archives, Highland Libraries, Am Baile and Highland Museums to create a memorable record of a missing urban landscape, from the speculative sites of Pictish forts and Macbeth’s castle, to Queen Mary’s house and the old suspension bridge below Inverness Castle, itself blown up by the Jacobites in 1746 and replaced by the 1830s prison and courthouse. This book will appeal to the vibrant Inverness local history community and to exiles everywhere, as it revives memories of shops, offices and public buildings now replaced by a homogenised streetscape.

Norman S. Newton was born and brought up on the south side of Glasgow, emigrating to New Zealand at the age of 12. Moving on to the USA with his family after four years, he attended college and university in Tennessee and Indiana, returning to Scotland in 1971 to start his career as a librarian in Glasgow University Library. He moved to public libraries in 1976, first in Campbeltown Public Library in Kintyre and then, from 1980, in Inverness. From 1992 to 1998 he was the Reference Librarian at Inverness Library, then in charge of Reference and Information Services for the whole Highland Libraries network until his retirement in 2009. He is the author of several books on Scottish islands and on the local history of Inverness, and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. He lives in Inverness.

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